Fireworks and fighting: Warzone Initiatives works to repair war-torn areas

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Last week, as I sat getting ready to join everyone in celebrating the fact that the planet went all the way around the sun, again, a resounding boom sounded through my house, sending me flying off my feet. Once I could finally hear my own thoughts above the racing palpitations of my heart, I quickly deduced that it was the neighboring boys setting off a volley of fireworks. However, in the spirit of New Year’s, they obviously couldn’t set off just a few fleeting fireworks, so the bombardment continued until long after I had left for the evening.

The terror from that first blast subsided, but my heart still jumped with each boom that followed; my dog’s heart did too. It was a nerve-fraying experience, having a bunch of teenage boys carelessly igniting fireworks around my house, but it got me thinking.

For maybe an hour, I had to deal with the sound of things exploding in the yard next to mine, yet there are people who live their lives surrounded by a soundtrack of war. Their every morning is met with sounds similar to what I was experiencing, yet I had peace of mind knowing the only ones the boys could hurt were themselves. Booms may have been resounding through the air, but as I continued getting dressed, I had no fear of raining rubble.

The soundtrack of a war zone wouldn’t be solely composed of booms; instead, it would be an orchestra of sniper shots, shouts, and screams. With more than forty active conflicts raging through our world, it’s a wonder the only booms I hear are those from fireworks. You’d think the winds would have no choice but to carry the sounds of war to foreign shores. It would be good if they did. Maybe then people would notice.

The unnerving effects of the constant bombardment of the senses are nothing compared to the other effects of living in war-torn areas. The emotional stress brought on by looking death in the face. The constant fear of what tomorrow holds. The instability in almost every aspect of life. The indescribable pain of hearing a child’s scream for parents who aren’t coming back.

And yet those screams are muted before they reach naive ears. Silenced before the winds can carry them to those who are startled by the pop of a firework.

There are many ways in which those of us living in comfort can reach out to communities who need our help. One of these is supporting the brave men and women who go to walk alongside those living in the war-ravaged areas.

Warzone Initiatives researches, writes, consults, and implements initiatives on non-state armed groups to promote peace and reconciliation. Through repairment training, handwashing station implementation, community health training, and many other initiatives, Warzone Initiatives have been able to serve 180,327 people globally. Although the rehabilitation and work with those living in war zones are important, Warzone Initiatives is unique because of its dedication to doing the research to answer the questions about how to diminish war zones in the long term.

To learn more about Warzone Initiatives, you can visit their website: https://www.warzone.cc/.

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