To bear witness

Actor Thomas Sadoski has long followed our work at INARA. In this blog, he talks about why he wants to encourage people to support us.

To bear witness. As a correspondent from some of the most intense conflict zones in the world INARA's founder, Arwa Damon, unflinchingly put herself in position to do just that. As humans it is, as is so often the case, simultaneously among the most difficult and important graces that we can offer each other. To be unconditionally present for another's humanity in all of its exquisite and heartbreaking beauty and horror.

From this vantage Arwa watched as the failings of diplomacy, the intractability of sectarianism and the fury of war were visited on those least deserving and most vulnerable: children.

From failing, future. From intractability, hope. From fury, relief. With this aim INARA was born.

The stark reality that we humans face and that we must embrace is that we live in a world of shared responsibility. And the greatest responsibility we own is that of how we care for our children. INARA has taken on the extraordinary task of partnering the families of children brutalized by war with the too-often-unreachable or unattainable medical care that either saves or makes possible a life. This is not simplly a charity; it is a courageous and essential undertaking that recognizes the resilience of body, heart and spirit inherent in children. It is the struggle to provide a future.

Coming from communities left shattered or in the process of being torn apart at the seams and then directly subjected to the horrors of conflict and war it is nearly impossible to imagine that a child could or would ever smile again. And yet this is exactly what you see from the children INARA are working with. The dedication, compassion and kindness provided by the INARA team sets the stage for that profound and unfathomable moment when hope is reborn.

This hope is not only reborn in the smile of the resilient and unconquerable children aided by INARA but also in the hearts of their families. From the devastation of having your child broken and thrown into a life that promises endless struggle to the solace of providing a life of possibility; from the impossible-to-comprehend fear of seeing your child on the very fringes of survival to the incredible relief of that child's deliverance: this is the journey INARA aids and undertakes.

"However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?" the Buddha said. I support INARA precisely because they act. What started in the unappreciated act of bearing witness has lead to acts of salvation; an odyssey born from exposure to the worst of humanity that has lead to the very core of what is best in us.  Please join me in supporting INARA's continuing journey.

Photo credit: Catie Laffoon