Friday, February 23, 2007

This Makes Me Excited

So, I happened to catch a few seconds of Nightline tonight and they were interviewing Ryan Gosling about his Oscar nod. But when I happened to pay attention to it, I caught a glimpse of the Lord's Resistance Army and listened to him speak about a young girl who had been attacked. The children of Northern Uganda are so pressing on my heart and by the time I realized what he was talking about, they were already discussing some other topic. But I did catch that he was working on a film about the LRA. I looked up information about it online and found this:

"Where’s Ryan Gosling? The Oscar-nominated "Half Nelson" star was a surprise entry on the Oscar slate. But he's been pretty much MIA from the campaign circuit. He wasn't even at the prestigious and essential campaign stop -- the Oscar Nominees Luncheon -- this week. Even Peter O'Toole showed up for that. Doesn't Ryan want to win?

According to Bonnie Abaunza of Amnesty International, Ryan is in Uganda scouting locations for "The Lord's Resistance Army," a film about child soldiers in East Africa. Gosling's producing the film, co-writing the script, will direct and star in it. With him in Uganda are child soldier expert Jimmy Briggs, author of "Innocents Lost," and John Prendergast, D.C-based senior advisor to the International Crisis Group. He’s the guy who took Angelina Jolie on her first trip to the eastern Congo in 2003 and helped George Clooney recently appear at the United Nations to seek help for Darfur's thousands of dead and millions of displaced civil war victims.

While there, they visited some hospitals and aid centers funded by Nic Cage's $2.5 million contribution to help rehabilitate child soldiers. Yesterday morning, Bonnie got a frantic call from Ryan, Jimmy and John asking for her help.

At one hospital, the trio met a 3-year-old girl whose village had been attacked and destroyed by the child soldiers in the Lord's Resistance Army.

"She had been thrown into a fire to burn to death. But she managed to wriggle out. The child soldiers grabbed her, wrapped her in a rug and threw her back in. But she managed to crawl out again, stay hidden in the brush and survive. She was just 18 months old. She’s still alive but is horribly burned. The carpet is embedded in her head. She has a cerebral infection and is in terrible pain with every movement and every breath,” says Abaunza.

"She cannot grow because her skin is so scarred. The brave little girl needs more help than the Doctors Without Borders can provide and her only hope now is to get to the U.S. and be given long-term treatment at a Burn Center."

Ryan, Jimmie and John are determined to get her out of Uganda and flown to the U.S. for specialized care and Bonnie is trying to arrange airfare and medical care as fast as she can. So if you wonder where the Oscar-nommed actor has been during the fabulous frenzied awards season, that’s what he's been up to. Freaking inspiring, isn't it?"

I am thrilled to read this....THRILLED. I am so glad to see a Hollywood star working hard to bring this issue to the mainstream. GOOD FOR HIM!