WITNESS WHAT INNOCENT EYES HAVE SEEN, NO LIPS HAVE UTTERED
WITNESS gives insight into the personal story from a child’s perspective of a horrific experience. It takes you through the journey of a child, Quanuquanei A. Karmue, better known as “Q”, growing up in a country suddenly caught in the throes of a civil war. Q transports you to this country—beside him in his journey— as he tells his compelling story. WITNESS is a vivid, gut-wrenching expression of not only the ugliness of war, but also the beauty of the aftermath. From the eyes of this child, the beauty is a metamorphosis from one family’s effort to rebuild their country through influencing and impacting the lives of children.
INFO@WITNESSSERIES.ORG | Q@SAVEMOREKIDS.ORG | 423-788-4456 Witness Package Series: Copyright ©2013 All Rights Reserved
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I so blessed?” “Why did I survive when so many others did not?” “What purpose does God have for me in this frame work of time that is obviously an extended life?” When you’re a survivor of war, no matter what kind of war, but in this case, a senseless, needless war of mass bloodshed and destruction; you listen for the answers above. And when the answers come to you, that you are here as a witness of war, here to tell the story of your survival to the world, a story of courage, of cunning, and sacrifice, but most importantly a story of love, the unconditional love that saved your family’s life- you know you have to give witness and shout from the mountain tops about how love saved you. Literally, Quanuquanei A. Karmue (“Q”), the storyteller, plan is to convey the story in every medium available: the written word (electronic and hard copy), photography (in galleries and photo books), long and short documentary formats for festival and web series, a biopic feature film, and even a reality television series to save American kids from the war that takes place on American streets. Witness includes the story of how Q’s mom saved not just her own children from the Liberian Civil War, but many other Liberian children as well. This mother, Neyor Karmue, is not just mom to the five children whom she gave birth, but, additionally, she became mom specifically to forty-four (44) other Liberian children who had lost their parents due to the civil war. But for limited resources, Neyor Karmue would like to mother many more of Liberia’s war deserted and orphaned children. Thus, Witness is the first step toward a goal to lift up Neyor’s mantle and Save More Kids. Along with world awareness of the need for education of Liberia’s children including appropriation of proper educational facilities, better living conditions, and investment from all directions creating job opportunities, it is hoped this story will also spearhead the end of the use of children as soldiers around the world. Witness includes a reflective tale about a young man who returns home only to find the modern civilization that
WITNESS A CIVIL WAR EXPERIENCE FROM A CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE
Quanuquanei A. Karmue
he grew up in completely and utterly destroyed by the atrocious civil war. Flashbacks within the pages of Witness reveal a story of war, espionage, and survival by a family from a vicious conflict fought by children soldiers with no value for life. A registered nurse, Neyor Karmue is a modern educated woman caught in the midst of a civil war. Suddenly she also has her five small children to protect, feed and save from becoming the child soldiers who threaten their lives with peril. The story is witnessed and told from the standpoint of her third child, Quanuquanei (“Q”). Meanwhile, Neyor uses her cunning to slip to and from checkpoint after checkpoint, traveling hundreds of miles, to eventually escape Liberia to the Ivory Coast and eventually reunite with her husband. A heroic story of courage, faith, hope and love, it is an adventure from beginning to end. The contents of Witness are broken up into four sections, of which the first three examine the story over a linear projection. The opening, entitled The Past, starts with Liberia, A Brief History, which covers its founding and quickly moves to the Liberian Civil War, its players, and the general atrocities committed. Also the opening incudes Q’s perspectives of his own experiences as a child during the war, subtitled, An Artist’s Journey Into The Past, which is the heroic tale of how Q’s mother saved his and his siblings’ lives. The second section of the book entitled The Present, Liberian Children In Crisis, tells how Q’s mother and father have returned to Liberia to find thousands of children orphaned and fending for themselves. Keeping a promise she had made after her near execution by child soldiers, Neyor and her husband, Fungbeh, years later returned to Liberia and established Christ Children’s Home where they personally parent forty-four children; cooking, clothing, and educating them all while giving them the guidance and care their own parents would have given. Q returned a few years after his parents and reports the circumstances of present-day Liberia and its children in crisis, not just in words, but also as a photojournalist who captures the conditions of children left in the aftermath of war. These visual
vignettes are accompanied by poetic prose that gives insight into the Liberian children’s worlds. Realizing it takes Building A Child To Change A Country, (the first subtitle of Section three, entitled The Future,) the chapter is reflective of Liberia’s prospects, an honest look at what is contained within the consequences of Charles Taylor’s human rights violations and what could have been the storyteller’s family’s ultimate reality if it were not for their mother. The audience is informed not just the facts concerning Liberian child soldiers, but the world situation concerning them using UN statistics. In a sub-segment entitled, Christ Children’s Home, Q examines the efforts submitted by his parents, Neyor and Fungbeh, to create strong healthy educated children and how they have created the concept of “future” for them and are setting the foundation for a hopeful Liberian prosperity. The benefits of organizations are explored such as HALO (Help a Liberian Orphan) and Q’s non-profit Save More Kids, which is also a photo exposé and title of the third segment of section three. The final section is the Abstract Q used in his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) thesis, followed by The Significances of My Story to describe how and why he is an artist. Lastly, the reader is informed about Artistic Influences of Q. Finally, a Bibliography follows.
Born in Liberia in 1981 and raised there till the family’s escape to the Ivory Coast in 1991, the author, Quanuquanei Alfred Karmue (“Q”), attended grade school at St. Martin’s Catholic School until the war made it impossible. After settling in Providence, RI, U.S.A. following the escape from the refugee camp in the Ivory Coast, Q attended grade school at Perry Elementary School in Providence. Later the family moved to Worchester, MA where Burncoat Middle School was attended and the author received a scholarship to attend an elite private school – Bancroft High-- from where the author graduated in 2001. After High School, he received another scholarship from the Christian Herter Foundation along with a Congressional Art Scholarship to attend the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD). After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degree in Graphic Design in 2006, he worked as a graphic Designer and gained a passion for photography during a trip with his mother and father to Liberia. Art became entwined by documenting several organizations that were supportive toward his parent’s efforts in Liberia. These experiences initiated the book, Witness, and it was partly a Thesis project for the author’s MFA degree at East Tennessee State University, located in Johnson City, TN, where he now resides. The opportunity for Q and his family to start their life over marked a new era for them in America. However, Q ’s witness of the horror in Liberia remained a shadow in his memory, affecting everything he did. His parents became his greatest mentor, teaching him and his siblings how to accept what happened as it could not be changed but also how to lead the bad memories out of their minds when they crept in. For the most part this is how Q started to handle life. He learned not to dwell on the pain and heartache of the depression the war caused, however, the memories he could not forget, even if he tried. They would always be a part of him. Over the years the memories stored have contributed to molding Q into who he has become today and has led him to the realization of how blessed he is, given him a greater desire to become an inspiration, giving hope to young people everywhere.
Save More Kids Our Purpose: A Brief History Christ’s Children’s Home (CCH): Save More Kids, Inc. was established due to Christ’s Children Home (CCH) located in Bong County, Liberia, West Africa. Neyor and Fungbeh Karmue established CCH in 2007 after living as refugees in the United States when they escaped the war by a slim margin with their children. Shortly after the war was over, the family returned with a burning desire to help rebuild their country. They came to realize that the epidemic of the 15 year old Liberian Civil War rested in the future of hundreds of thousands of children left parentless with no direction, future and hope for life. The only way to stop such a catastrophic disaster from ever repeating itself was to influence and cultivate the minds of the youth. Therefore, the Karmues went to work to establish a home that would take in victimized war children and they sought to genuinely exemplify and press the love of Christ upon them and vehemently direct their path allowing God to become the compass of their new life. Over the last 10 years they have worked tirelessly to build the model home that currently composed of 44 children who were once devalued as the least of society. Today, this unique family of 44 children has been transformed into some of the most vibrant, innovative, God fearing children in Liberia. They are being prepared to help lead their country. They are being taught not to only receive but to give back. Through Save More
(Fungbeh, Neyor & Kids at CCH) 2010
Kids, children at CCH are learning trades such as Carpentry, Basic Nursing/First Aid, Culinary Arts, Tailoring, Bible, Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The children are then directed to come up with innovative solutions to use their talents for the betterment of their communities. It’s this model of “to whom much is given, much is expected and it’s better to give than to receive” mentality that Save More Kids, Inc. was established by Quanuquanei Karmue (“Q”), one of the Karmue’s Sons. Q realized that even though 44 children have been saved inside the walls of CCH, outside the gates of CCH were thousands of Children who are leading a hopeless direction and future. “Save More Kids” is a non-profit organization created as a means of reaching out and providing assistance to children who have been subjected to extreme conditions such as war, sexual abuse, abandonment, or child labor. We document the atrocities they’ve faced and with your help, provide them with an opportunity a realistic chance to change the course of their future. We believe that the “cornerstone” that can transform developing, impoverished nations into progressive, sustainable growing societies is a strong “foundation”. The children of our society and culture are just that cornerstone! Regardless of how much aid a nation receive, if the youth generation is not prepared and
CCH Kids with Neyor 2010
cultivated to sustain and uphold long-term development, the cycle of issues with poverty and corruption will likely rebirth and continue to entrap innovation and sustainable development. We strive to reach children before they are unduly influenced by less-than-favorable surroundings. We believe strongly in the proverb, â€œTrain a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.â€? Save More Kids hopes to serve as a guiding light to show children that their futures can be both meaningful and productive. We aim to become visible in their schools, communities and create a unique environment composed of positive role models and values to encourage and inspire dreams and dare them to BELIEVE and have HOPE. Our Process Every day, disastrous event occur that have the potential to forever short-circuit the growth and future of children exposed to them. Many times, the mainstream media fails to report on the ways in which children are adversely affected by such catastrophic events. We work tirelessly to shed light on situations such as these so as to alleviate the possibility of these children being left homeless and without positive direction. We believe that everyone has an inherent desire to help his fellow man. However, the first step in facilitating such a desire is to make the general public aware. Hence, our delivery to you of this message and our hope that it encourages you to get involved. We identify and partner with non-government organizations (NGO),
orphanage homes and other children-based foundations whose aims and missions are in alignment with those of Save More Kids. We work together for the common good of impacting the youth and getting them ready to take valuable leads in their societies and leaving them with a desire to become a positive impact. Motivation By providing a positive influence on a child, we improve his/her chances of living a long and productive life, while subsequently improving the future for us all. Our goal is to provide a means by which these children can be furnished with shelter, education, food, and spiritual guidance. This process begins by bringing awareness of their plight to the forefront. Our Mission Our mission is to provide Hope and Inspiration to children who have been subjected to extreme conditions such as war, sexual abuse, abandonment, or child labor. We document the atrocities theyâ€™re facing and with your help, provide them with an opportunity - a realistic chance to change the course of their future. Our Vision We aim to become the media fuel that drives attention to various issues trapping children that give other nonprofit organizations an opportunity to partner with us to resolve those issues.
Bringing Home The Experience!
WITNESS can also be presented in a gallery “ Even though we currently strive to reach children in Liberia, we have a strong commitment to also influence kids in classrooms across the United States, Europe & Canada. Through other children’s circumstances, many more can be inspired.” ...Q. Karmue (President, SMK)
Important Links to Explore to find out more info: http://savemorekids.org/ https://www.facebook.com/SaveMoreKids
Save More Kids You Tube Documentary: SMK DOCUMENTARY TRAILER http://youtu.be/iJPGU0Vu0To WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR AN EDUCATION: (Whole Documentary) http://youtu.be/40QXtoUnRa8 BRING YOUR OWN DESK TO SCHOOL: http://youtu.be/KWIPAJ5vscQ
“Q” I BELIEVE SPEECH: http://youtu.be/BBmSp5_zSSM WHY IS SCHOOL IMPORTANT? http://youtu.be/2NNyvYGPbtw SUNSET OVER CCH: http://youtu.be/jvjIMgd8Lgs A WALK THROUGH VOA VILLAGE http://youtu.be/jV33Uuu9U-I
WHAT INNOCENT EYES HAVE SEEN, NO LIPS HAVE UTTERED
Quanuquanei A. Karmue (“Q”) is the author of WITNESS and the artist who created the artwork associated with the book and organization. Q has done many lectures in various schools and organizations around the United States and Africa. The author is available to do speaking engagements where he can also present his documented work in a gallery or classroom settings. If you are interested in booking Q, please contact Wendy Karmue INFO@WITNESSSERIES.ORG | 423-305-8860 Thank You For Your Consideration.
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