Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday TED Talk: Emmanuel Jal and the Redemption of a War Child

The talk below, from the 2009 Global TED Conference at Oxford last month, was one of the most deeply heartfelt and moving of them all. Emmanuel Jal, a self-confessed "war child" who lost much of his family to civil war in the Sudan, was conscripted as a child soldier at the age of eight. He was one of the few survivors of a forced march, in which he had to find snails and other desert delights to eat rather than succumb to cannibalism. He finally escaped to a refugee camp, where he was adopted by an English relief worker, Emma McCune. As he tells his story, listen to the difference which she made in his life, which he makes visible and audible in his rap lyrics and song:

Emmanuel Jal is now touring to promote his amazing autobiography, "War Child" (also made into a movie), the proceeds from which support his African charity, GUA-Africa, which is trying to save other African children and families from the devastations of war and poverty. You may read more about Emmanuel Jal here and here. The high-resolution version of his TED talk is here, and the page from which you can download it in other versions is here.

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