If you’ve been following the Sarah Mac Band for any amount of time, or have read our blogs in the past year, there’s a good chance that you’re already aware of our connection with Unseen Stories. We’ve done the easy stuff—benefit concerts, lending our name, lending our bass player for administrative stuff, and running errands. Now, suddenly the harder, scarier opportunities came up and I’m going to Benin on Tuesday.
Jen (the executive director of Unseen Stories) and I will be traveling all over the country for three weeks, armed with two laptops, a driver, a translator, some granola bars, a worn paperback novel, a mix tape and one brand new pair of army green rubber shoes. Our days will be filled with meetings with government officials (both Beninese and foreign governments), Peace Corps volunteers, missionaries, and other NGOs all in an effort to help plan and organize a national education initiative this summer which will use various means, including an animated film that Unseen Stories has created, to make families aware of the dangers of trafficking their children.
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that it’s not really about Sarah Mac and Jen setting up and sitting through meetings. It’s about fighting for the hearts of people who have been told through words and actions that they’re not worth it. It’s about joining a bigger voice that says, “It’s not okay for you to be treated like a commodity. Yes, you are a real person.” And maybe I don’t get the cool job like making the documentary film or playing Alias-spy-girl and swooping in like a superhero to snatch you out of slavery in the middle of the night, but I’m willing to do my part to contribute to building a strong infrastructure that can (and ultimately will) support and sustain a massive cultural change in a country that is desperately seeking a catalyst for a revolution of emotional freedom.
I wanted to use our blog to:
1) Let you know why we’re not playing in the next couple of weeks (but look at our schedule man, we’re tentatively booked for forty gigs between now and July, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see us in the near future).
2) Make you aware of some big picture stuff that you can get involved in. We believe in it enough to put it out there for you to read about and maybe catch the wave. There is some really good information on some of the resource links that Unseen Stories provides on their website if you want to do some more research. I thought that the Catholic Relief Services website (although not updated in a while) had the best, easiest to digest information because it was more of a narrative than a bunch of statistics.
3) Keep you updated. On top of wanting to inspire you to get involved, I also thought that I would use this to post photos and little stories throughout the trip. So, keep checking back.
See you guys on the flipside.