Sean Carasso // Falling Whistles

When Sean Carasso found himself in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he’d already spent time working with a number of social causes, philanthropists, and big names like TOMS and Invisible Children. He was also aware of the violence inhabiting the lush landscape, but the reality of the world’s largest war became personal when he met five young boys who were living a tortured existence in an illegal military prison.

During his visit, he learned that many young children are taken by the Congolese army and sent out in the front lines to meet the rebels—with only a whistle. Too small to even carry an actual gun, their job is to make as much as noise as possible before receiving the first round of fire, their lifeless bodies then serving as a barricade. Heartbroken by this injustice, Carasso poured out his feelings into his journal, then forwarded the entry to friends and family that evening. By the time he left Congo, having successfully worked with the UN to rescue the five boys, the story had already begun spreading around the world.

Upon returning home, Carasso struggled with what to do about the innocent bloodshed in Congo. Then one day, a friend placed a whistle around his neck and said, “No matter where you go, make sure you keep those boys alive in your heart.” It was then that Falling Whistles was born.

Just over a year later, Falling Whistles is a quickly growing nonprofit based on this idea: we are all whistleblowers for peace. Their plan is two-fold. They sell whistles, much like the ones worn by the child soldiers, for the purpose of protesting the war in Congo and, as Carasso says, to “use it as a tool to elevate common conversation.” All of the profits from the whistles go toward rehabilitating and advocating for the freedom of children who are victims of the system in Congo. Support has been overwhelmingly positive, and even stores like Fred Segal and Steven Allen have featured Falling Whistles products.

“The peace symbol is impotent because it’s ambiguous,” Carasso says. He believes that we can produce real change when we shift our view from solving the problems of the world at large, and focus our protests on particular purposes, such as with Falling Whistles.

“If we believe that God made us equal and free, if we believe that they are in fact our brothers and our sisters, then we have to live with that burn inside,” Carasso says. “One child enslaved is unacceptable. Anyone who says otherwise has compromised.”

To spread the original Falling Whistles story, purchase your own whistle or donate to their work, please visit FallingWhistles.com.

9 Comments

85,538

reject cynicism commented…

While verifying an organization's spendings and making sure they're honest is valuable and important, I always wonder why it's our first question. Why do we jump to wondering if something is "working," if it's "sustainable"? Why isn't our first response gratitude? Why aren't we joyful and thankful that someone is doing something. We all make mistakes ... but I'd rather make mistakes pursuing some good end than having stood on the sidelines all in the name of "doing it right and sustainably." I just wonder sometimes if we've swung the pendulum so far in our efforts to make sure we do it right, that now we only criticize. And is it because it's easier to criticize than it is to engage?

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stella commented…

um, if we are giving money for a cause, we need evidence that is where the money is actually going. to. the. cause. it aint cynicism. it is being responsible with where your philanthropic dollars are headed. to a bunch of cute americans traipsing around africa, or actually to real, live, africans who need assistance? we just want proof, before we give our money.

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trulyblessedd. commented…

I believe in this organization. Im doing a class project on it, and i cant even read their story without tearing up. Ive never really been interested in this kind of stuff, but after learning about it, i cant help but tell people about it everyday. It truly blesses my heart to know that their are still people in this world that care enough to make a stand like Sean Carasso, the founder of this organization. I think that Americans today take for granted the freedom and privaleges they have in this country, and children there would be eternally grateful for just a simple meal everyday. Thank you Sean and every supporter and intern of this organization, for helping to make a difference in these childrens lives. :)

85,538

Idontbuyit commented…

i question the legitimacy of the Falling Whistles campaign and can
only hope that anyone considering donating to them take a few
minutes to do some research before committing to it. if you google them
you will only find links to buy their product.. you will not find any
links providing pictures/proof that any of the donation money is being
put to any use over there (Congo). further more, you will not find any
proof that the story behind their campaign holds any truth. in fact,
people who have years of experience over there state they have never
heard the story of child soldiers given whistles instead of guns and sent to the front lines from anyone other than the founder of Falling Whistles.

here are some links. i encourage you to check them out and read the comments/discussion about FW and their founder. one of the comments even states that FW and Sean Carasso where actually deported from the area and are not welcome back.

http://congosiasa.blogspot.com...

http://wrongingrights.blogspot...

these are the kind of Hollywood wannabe types that need to get called
out.. not supported. there are plenty of other orgs you can donate to
where you will be sure that your money is going to aid victims of this
war. be a conscious consumer and if you are passionate about helping
those in other countries that need aid then do a little research before
donating and make sure you are giving your money to the right people.

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Rmkilloran commented…

I believe Falling Whistles is doing what they say they are. I support them. The UN supports them. This website supports them. And when Falling Whistles adopts financial transparency they'll gain the support of some well-informed skeptics.

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