What Do Whistles, the Congo and “Dudegooders” Have in Common?

  • December 14, 2010

Screen shot 2011-02-14 at 2.07.28 AMThey call themselves “The Dude Gooders” and their thing is “adventure philanthropy, opisthorchiasis ” pairing epic adventures with noble causes.

Founded on the belief that there is an inherent connection between the desire to explore our world and the desire to make a positive impact on the places we visit, salve the group plans to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, to raise money for Falling Whistles, an advocacy group fighting to end the war in the Congo and rehabilitate child soldiers affected by the conflict.

The goal? $19,334. One dollar for every foot of elevation to reach the summit, which they will reach at the end of this month. They’ve already raised over $12,000, and 100 percent of the money raised goes to Falling Whistles.

Home to the world’s deadliest war since WWII, over 6 million people have been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1998. Sexual violence is more widespread in the Congo than anywhere else on earth and thousands of children are involved in the war.

Falling Whistles began with a journal written about boys sent to the frontlines of war armed with only a whistle. The kids would make noise to scare the enemy and form a ‘shield’ for the first round of bullets.

Out of that journal an organization which would use the war-affected children’s weapons as a symbol of protest against the Congo war and a pledge to help resolve the conflict by bettering the lives of 267 children in Northeast Congo who have become its victims. The group feeds the war-affected children and takes them through four stages of rehabilitation — Expression Therapy programs (sports, dance, art, music and photography), Primary Education, Job Training, and Human Rights Education.

Funded entirely through the sales of whistles, Falling Whistles calls on you to “wear your protest and be a whistle blower for peace.”

“Sold out of pockets, living rooms, garages, concerts, warehouses and retail stores, the whistle gives you the opportunity to spread the word about Congo and speak up for peace,” says the organization. “Wear your protest and elevate the conversation.”

Beyond buying whistles, Falling Whistles has a number of suggestions of what each of us can do, from hosting an event, bringing Falling Whistles to your school, home or workplace, volunteering and simply using your whistle to speak out!

GOT A TIP FOR US? Is there a story or campaign in your area that we’d want to know about? E-mail us at humanrightstips@change.org. Please also follow Change.org’s Human Rights page on Facebook and Twitter. Photo credit: Falling Whistles