July 06, 2009

Got 5 Minutes?


I think that a major part of this journey for me is trying to raise awareness about what is going on in Congo. The Congo is one of the only places in the world that has the minerals that are needed to manufacture all of the gadgets that we can't seem to live without. Our cell phones, computers, iPods, digital cameras, etc. all use tantalem and tungsten to make them work. These minerals are mined in Congo. A major source of fighting here is over who controls the mines. Warring groups are committing atrocities beyond belief to gain control of the mineral mines. Controlling groups stand to make about $144 million off of the trade of these minerals. With the average person in Congo only earning $300 US dollars per year, you can see the importance. Women are raped and children are macheted just to get control of these precious minerals. The minerals then make their way to the US where companies use them to make our electronics. So indirectly, our texting and facebook obsessions are fueling the largest humanitarian crisis of the last 60 years. "That's horrible," you might be saying to yourself, "I wish there was something I could do!" Well...there is. Take a minute to shoot an email to the major electronics producers and ask them to be responsible and transparent about the minerals they are using. Urge them to use conflict free minerals. They will listen and actually write you back. Then the next time you drop your phone in the potty and need to get a new one, remeber which companies are working toward a conflict resolution and give them your business. A pre-filled letter to these companies is available by clicking HERE. All you have to do is put in your email address and the rest is taken care of. Remember- lots of small deeds all add up to big CHANGE!

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