Sometimes you meet someone, and you see a spark – a special light – something that shines through them and draws you to them in a unique, powerful, and almost irresistible way.

Nestar is one of those people. She is a rare gem, a force to be reckoned with, an inspiration, and an ambassador for truth. She is bold and beautiful, gracious and sweet, intelligent and strong. She is all of these things, but yet she is humble.

Nestar is from Uganda. She grew up in one of the most difficult environments any child has ever lived through. Her village was attacked when she was three years old. Family members were killed. They had to escape to save their lives. She has lived with the sounds of gunfire nearly every night of her life. Gunfire. Nearly every night. Let that sink in for a moment.

Nestar has been in Canada for 11 months. When she first arrived, her host family took her camping. She lay there in the tent, terrified, but too shy to say anything. At home in Uganda, sleeping in the bush was the equivalent of suicide. Rebels live in the bush. Murdering rebels. She wondered if she’d see morning.

Nestar has spent the last 11 months as an ambassador – bringing a little bit of Africa to Canadians. People across the country have fallen in love with her – and with good reason. You almost can’t resist loving her. But at the same time, you stand in awe of her. She is powerful. She is gifted. She is brilliant. She will change the world.

You can hear Nestar speak here. If you have a few minutes, you really must listen. Hearing Nestar speak will change you, even in just a small way. She will open your eyes to injustice. She will inspire you to act for change. She will change the way you think of Africans. She is no victim. She is no weakling. She is none of those things ethnocentric North Americans often attribute to Africans. She is grace and power all wrapped in one beautiful young woman.

Note: If you don’t have time to listen to the whole interview (and you really should find the time – it will be some of the most valuable time you’ll spend today), at least listen to the second half where she so brilliantly and graciously responds to narrow-minded callers who say things like “isn’t the hunger in Africa the result of their own sin?”

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