On March 1, Keita will speak to members of the community at Noble Horizons in Salisbury, CT, with one message to impart on behalf of the burgeoning spirit of modern youth activism: “We should leave the world a far better place than we found it, and that sentiment should be the responsibility of every generation. We have come to an age where collective societies can no longer say foreign injustices are none of their business. We all have the capacity to effect small changes in a very big way.”
To register for Abraham’s presentation at Noble Horizons on Sunday, March 1 at 2pm, visit https://noblehorizons.org/events-calendar.html
Violence can breed many things: anger, hatred and perhaps most frighteningly, more violence. Two World Wars brought bitterness, dissidence, genocide and a perpetual sense of xenophobia throughout Europe and across the globe. Two Civil Wars over the course of 12 years had similar effects on Liberia. Corruption from the highest levels of government gave way to regular conspiracies against the most vulnerable of the Liberian population. Amidst the endlessly grinding gears of systematic violence, somewhere in the slums of West Point in Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia, violence instead bred something unexpected – hope, optimism and a seemingly impossible endurance to fight for the most fundamental rights of children around the world.
Abraham Keita was born during Liberia’s second Civil War in 2000 into a world so fraught with chaos that he only recently discovered his real age of 19. “Finally realizing my true age shifted me toward a different cause. A cause driven by the need to ensure that every child has the right to a name, nationality and identity.”
Despite Abraham’s recent revelation, his journey toward becoming one of the most renowned children’s rights activists began before he was even a teenager. On February 28, 2003, Abraham’s father, who was a driver for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), a humanitarian organization dedicated to delivering food and other relief to displaced refugees miles away from Monrovia, was killed by gunmen during an ambush on one of his relief trips. “My eyes were open to violence at an early age, so too were they to sexual violence as well as child labor,” says Keita of his early introduction to senseless killing. “I was a victim of child labor because my mother needed financial help and as a result I didn’t start school until I was nine.”