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Philanthropy Week to Focus on Children and the Law

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Miami Law is preparing for the second annual Philanthropy Week, from Feb. 28th to March 3rd. This year, the proceeds from the fundraising effort will go to the Hope for Congo Foundation, whose founder will speak at a symposium on March 2nd on the Coral Gables campus.

Tchicaya Missamou, a former child soldier in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will be joined by Washington & Lee University School of Law Professor Mark Drumbl and others to discuss "Child Soldiers and International Law." Three short lectures will be followed by a question-and-answer session and book signings. The March 2nd event will be held at the University of Miami's Storer Auditorium, at 10 a.m.

Ted Massey, 3L, editor-in-chief of the National Security and Armed Conflict Law Review, said Missamou's story is "truly inspirational, and is a beacon of hope in the troubles that plague the Congo."

Quoting Missamou's dictum that "uneducated children grow up to be uneducated adults," Massey said that the Hope for Congo Foundation "will give these children the chance to do something with their lives by providing an education," something that he suggested many people take for granted.

The law school community will come together during Philanthropy Week to both educate and raise funds for children's issues.

"I wanted to not only raise money, but I wanted to educate law students about issues facing children in our legal system and our world," said Brittany Young, 3L, the Philanthropy Week coordinator. "They are the most vulnerable population in our society. We, as lawyers and future lawyers, have a duty to vigilantly protect their rights because many times they cannot do it themselves."

Many activities and panel discussions are planned for the week, with several student groups involved. "Philanthropy Week is a time when students from all walks of life and diverging legal interests come together to benefit a specific cause in the hopes of imparting positive change in the world," said Toam Rubinstein, 2L, the Philanthropy Chair for the Student Bar Association.

Last year, Philanthropy Week raised about $1,600 for the South Florida Bike Coalition. "I hope to double that amount this year," Young said. "Mr. Missamou is coming to share his experiences with our school, and I want to show him that that Miami Law cares about our community and our world. Together, we can do that."

For more information about Philanthropy Week, please contact Brittany Young at byoung@law.miami.edu.