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Former Child Soldier Turned Peace Activist Visits VES

Talk about stature. Emmanuel Jal stands as a living testament to the power of lifelong personal growth. Born in South Sudan, he was sent at the age of seven to a military training camp, where he was given an AK-47 and taught how to hate. After years of civil war, Emmanuel and others ultimately ran away. With basic rations for only one month, 400 boys began a trip that would last for three months. They endured starvation, disease, and death. In the end, Emmanuel was one of only 16 to survive.

Emmanuel was adopted by an aid worker and through education, he learned to love. Realizing that war had not only taken his entire family from him, but it had also stolen his childhod forever, Emmanuel dedicated his life to peace. Through his own unique style of rap and hip-hop and with his powerful lyrics, he travels the world raising awareness for the situation in his home country and raising money for schools.

We were deeply honored to host Emmanuel for an afternoon assembly, listen to a song and a spoken word poem and hear in his own words what he has been through, why peace is so paramount, and why he places the highest value on education.We are also very proud of our students, and especially the freshmen class who raised over $550.00 to support Emmanuel's efforts and challenged other classes to do the same.

Click here to visit Emmanuel Jal's website and help to support his cause. See below for video highlights of his performance and testimony.

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