Photo: Courtesy of Anne Riak
In memory of Jordan Riak
(1935 - 2016)

Welcome to Project NoSpank, the official website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE). Here you’ll find a wealth of information concerning the corporal punishment of children in the U.S. and around the world.

Project Nospank was created by PTAVE’s founder and executive director, Jordan Riak, in keeping with the group's mission to educate the public about the vast harm caused by this age-old practice of inflicting pain on children in the name of discipline--and to spur reform for their protection.

The articles and videos compiled here were posted mainly between 1996 and 2013 and draw from centuries of research, journalism, and advocacy.

To proceed to Project NoSpank's front page, click here.

If at any point you are unable to access this website at its current address ( a complete archive is also available through the Wayback Machine at Please bookmark both of these URL's for future reference.

For other technical issues, contact Tom Johnson at

Please note that the postal addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information found throughout this website, as well as its PayPal donation portals, are no longer serviceable.


(Collected by Mitch Hall)

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In Remembrance of Jordan Riak, An Activist for Children and Humanity (1935 - 2016)
By Robbyn Peters Bennett
Posted on

A friend of Bangladesh returns to God
By Sir Frank Peters
Originally published in The Weekly Blitz

NYRA Mourns Loss of Corporal Punishment Opponent
By Alex Koroknay-Palicz, National Youth Rights Association

Hommage à Jordan Riak (1935-2016) (French)
Posted on the website of France's Observatoire de la violence éducative ordinaire (OVEO)

Tribute Video - In Memory of Jordan Riak 1935-2016
by Blake Hutchison

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Dear Mitch,

I am so sorry about the loss of Jordan. I did not know he was ill. I wish I could attend the memorial service but please pass my condolences to Anne Riak, Jordan's wife and also his family members.

He left such a legacy and has touched so many lives. I don't know where to start . . . So sad, but will be ever so grateful that I met Jordan, first online, then in person. I am grateful for his tireless work and his words of advice and his eloquent way with words. I hope everyone that he touched can find a way to continue the message . . . from the prisoners who were about to be released to the school boards and legislators as well as the many parents and teachers who were real friends and supporters.

Thanks for all your help.

In sympathy,
Isabelle Allgood-Neal

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Dear American friends,

With Alice Miller, Jordan Riak has been for me a model. I have often been on his website Nospank and when he published the translation of my book Spanking, I felt very happy and proud. He remains for me a beautiful person, always alive by his influence, and thanks to him the world will be less violent.

Olivier Maurel
President of the Observatoire de la violence éducative ordinaire (France)

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Dear Mitch

Sad, sad day, for many of us, around the world.

Jordan’s tenacity and fire were unforgettable, he was destined to leave a big legacy.

I cherish my memories of discovering his tremendous nospank project, the comfort and courage it gave me in my work and hope for the future, and the powerful ways this hive of information wisdom and activism fed the work that I do.

I am not sure what my book would have been without Jordan’s work. It is sobering to reflect on this, as frankly I don’t know if my book would have touched so many or resonated so solidly were it not for the service that Jordan’s project provided.

It was a special moment, to meet and dine with Jordan at your apartment in SF. All the more precious now that I see it will not be repeated. Not every day do we encounter someone like Jordan.

I know you and he are good friends and comrades, and I am sorry for your loss, Mitch.

I think Jordan changed the rotation of the earth in his small and big way, he changed it enough that it will not go back to how it was prior.

I sure intend to keep walking and to remember him as I do; to feel him walking alongside us in our revolutionary and child advocating work.

Adios, Jordan, I hope you are enjoying your freedom from a troubled and troubling body, in the knowledge that you used it so very very well.


Robin Grille, clinical psychologist in Sydney, Australia
Author of Parenting for a Peaceful World and Heart-to-Heart Parenting
Blog: Heart to Heart Parenting

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Jordan was a legend when I began my work on physical punishment of children. We eventually met, by phone. During that warm and collegial conversation, I felt what so many others already knew about Jordan—his personable, principled and passionate commitment to the protection and well-being of children

I want to offer my condolences on Jordan’s loss to his family and to all who depended on his clear, considered and constant voice that has made a difference in the lives of so many children.

Ron Ensom

Ron Ensom, MSW, RSW
Ensom & Associates

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Jordan was a pioneer in ending school corporal punishment, one of the first in our country to tackle the issue head-on, just as he had done in Australia before moving to California. He was a passionate advocate who called me at all times of day or evening, sometimes forgetting that I was in the eastern time zone. Well, on second thought, maybe he hadn’t forgotten! But what was on his mind was just very important and he wanted to reach me when he had a question or another brilliant thought in mind!

Jordan inspired, he led, he confronted – a real hero to children! I will miss our brainstorming phone calls.

Robert Fathman, Ph.D.
Former president and co-founder
The National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools
Dublin, Ohio

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I am so sorry to hear about Jordan Riak. He is a hero who may never get all the credit he deserves for his courageous accomplishments as he has battled and gained some hard earned ground for children's rights, not always a popular subject. Someone should write a book about him. In my mind he is a legend.

I wish you the best,

David Cooperson, retired social worker
Author of The Holocaust Lesson on Compassionate Parenting and Childhood Corporal Punishment

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Jordan Riak (1935-2016): In Memoriam

It was in the mid-1990s, around 20 years ago, that I first learned about Jordan Riak’s advocacy for children’s rights and ending the culturally normative violence of physical punishment of children. I pictured a bright visionary who was on the leading-edge of a newly emergent peace movement that could make a palpable impact in reducing both human suffering and wider societal violence. I was teaching sociology courses at the time, among other responsibilities, at a private university in Vermont. When I learned that Jordan would send me as many free copies of his booklet, Plain Talk about Spanking, as I requested, I ordered enough for all the students in my large classes and made the booklet required reading. I also sent a donation to his non-profit initiative. In class discussions, the booklets stirred up vehement debate, with most of the students adamantly defending the spankings with which they had been raised and only a small minority speaking up in support of Jordan’s position with which I was in complete alignment. When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 2000s, I met Jordan in person, liked and respected him immediately, and accepted his invitation to become a board member of Parents and Teachers against Violence in Education. His enthusiasm, energy, creativity, generosity, articulateness, passion, talent, and commitment were so impressive. He was so verbally adroit and came up with many pithy, pertinent, provocative ways to deliver his message. He's left quite a legacy. I remember his voice and spirit vividly even when particular words he spoke do not come immediately to mind. He worked day and night for his cause, did every level of the work, including printing and stapling (until donations allowed him to pay for this production), packing, shipping, sharpening the delivery of his message, writing, drawing, editing ever-improved editions of his booklet, being webmaster and editor of his massive on-line archive , advising and mentoring allies, being interviewed on radio and television, driving to Folsom Prison to speak to people about to be released, speaking at conferences, approaching parents of small children in stores to ask if he could give the parents his booklet and the children pins and stickers he had designed with his message, dreaming up large-scale campaigns, and so much more. He lived and breathed his mission as did very few people I have ever met. He was also ever-thankful to his beloved wife Anne whom he frequently credited with helping make his work possible. I was happy and proud to contribute my writing and editorial skills to some of the campaigns that Jordan conceived. One such campaign involved writing a petition, with feedback from other members of the board, and helping circulate it to gain the signatures of hundreds of psychologists to request that the American Psychological Association (APA) officially oppose, on clinical and scientific grounds, the physical punishment of children. While the APA did not come through as we had hoped, the effort was not in vain. We gained many signatories as allies and stimulated discussion. Jordan lived fully and shone brightly. He is missed by all who knew, loved, and were inspired by him. Yet his legacy lives on. The movement to ban physical punishment of children in homes and schools has gained remarkable momentum in this country and around the world. Jordan made inestimable contributions to this movement, and it would arguably take a whole book or documentary film to begin to account for all he accomplished.

Mitch Hall, Ph.D., R.Y.T.
Author, holistic health and wellness counselor, peace educator, yoga and tai chi teacher, children’s rights advocate, PTAVE board member, and friend

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Thank you for this lovely and heartfelt remembrance of Jordan. I had the honor of having a brief interaction with him and also felt his amazing energy and passion towards this incredible cause. May his spirit continue to soar high.

Ellie Zarrabian, Ph.D.
Centerpeace Project

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My first contact with Jordan was in 1994. I'd learned of his work from Adah Maurer's newsletter, The Last Resort?, and wanted to get his feedback on an essay I'd written. Within a few months, and for decades to come, he would be my chief ally in the effort to raise awareness of corporal punishment's hazardous nature. He was also the nexus through which I made acquaintance with a number of activists and truly became part of a movement, an assembly of people across the globe who shared a passionate belief in children's rights.

Jordan was for me and for many others on this front a wellspring of information, wisdom, printed materials, and moral support. So much of what I achieved was thanks in great part to him and to his nonprofit operation, Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education. Over the years, I had the honor of writing a booklet for PTAVE, assisting with the growth of its website, and eventually serving on its board of directors.

I'm fortunate to have had the chance to meet Jordan in person on two occasions, and to have developed a friendship with him over the course of many long phone conversations. Jointly, we would curse the state of affairs in our society that so enables cruelty to children--but also cheer small victories and hopeful signs, while constantly brainstorming as to what might help to speed progress along from its glacial pace. I drew inspiration from Jordan's courage, wit, vitality, dedication, and overall humanity. Although his blunt turns of rhetoric could be startling, I respected his determination not to sugarcoat the harsh realities that children and teenagers are up against.

A lot will be said about the legacy of Jordan's work. His signature booklet, Plain Talk about Spanking, first printed in 1992, has been widely read and reproduced throughout the world. It has been translated into at least nine languages, by readers who offered their services for free because they saw the importance of its heartfelt message and the usefulness of its concise, easy-to-read presentation. The website Project NoSpank, which Jordan built from scratch, stands as an eminent resource for anyone seeking to challenge the accepted use of corporal punishment, an immense collection of fine arguments, keen insight, and hard facts. Nowhere else will you find a more comprehensive outlook on the scope and impact of this violence routinely perpetrated against the young under the banner of discipline. In fact, a number of documented travesties would no longer be discoverable through Internet searches, were it not for this archive.

Project NoSpank has also served as a venue for victims of physical punishment (whether at home, school, or elsewhere) to relate their experience and the lasting harm that was done to them. It continues for many to be an oasis of vindication. Jordan's message to victims was clear: You didn't deserve it. No child deserves to be treated like that. This simple, powerful idea has undoubtedly brought a measure of healing to untold numbers of web visitors and struck a major blow against the cycle of abuse.

Farewell, Jordan, and thank you for your life of service to this cause. It will not be forgotten.

Tom Johnson, PTAVE board member

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Thank you for letting me know. I am sad about this news and it is a great loss. I was in touch with Jordan some time ago and he was indeed a wonderful, dedicated man. Please convey my deep condolences to his family.

And please call on me if you are launching other actions to once more get the APA to take a stand against physical discipline of children. I think the time is ripe now, with all we are learning from neuroscience, and it would also be good to get the association of pediatricians to do so. If you plan any of this, I want to support it.

As you may know, I am passionately committed to this cause, have published extensively on children's human rights (see, and co-founded the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence ( as a project of the Center for Partnership Studies ( Also, if you do not have it, please take a look at our Caring and Connected Parenting Guide, endorsed by pediatricians such as Brazelton as well as Nobel Peace Laureates who recognize that peace in the world is integrally connected with non-violent childcare. It can be downloaded free in both English and Spanish at

Again, thank you.

Warmest good wishes,

Riane Eisler, JD, PhD(h)
President, Center for Partnership Studies
Editor in Chief, Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies
Author, including The Chalice and the Blade, The Real Wealth of Nations

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I met Jordan Riak a few decades ago. At the time, I felt like a solo force in Chicago giving community bilingual presentations which focused on positive parenting and not hitting kids. On many days, I would come home crying as the audiences weren't necessarily friendly or receptive to the idea that you could raise kids without corporal punishment. Even in my academic classes which focused on trauma, people had not yet connected the dots that hitting kids is a traumatic experience. Jordan welcomed me with open arms and helped to not feel so alone. I was grateful to find someone else of like mind, and this truly kept me going in the work on the front lines. Jordan also surrounded me with other child rights' and abolish-corporal-punishment advocates. It was fantastic! I no longer felt like a lone freak. Serving on Jordan's PTAVE Board introduced me to many individuals, who went on to become my friends and to their particular fight against corporal punishments. Jordan was generous and seemed to work non-stop in the area. It didn't matter if the person was a parent or professional, Jordan helped and supported in the best ways that he could. From his "Plain Talk about Spanking" to his website, Jordan disseminated and archived information for all to use - for free! I feel blessed to have ever crossed his path. I also thank and honor him for all the positive change he has left for the world. While I hope that someday, this type of work will no longer be needed, in the meanwhile, Jordan will always be an inspiration for those of us who must continue to follow his footsteps of non-violence and child rights.

Madeleine Y. Gomez, Ph.D.
Founder and President, PsycHealth, Ltd.

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My dear, beautiful friend and fellow children's rights advocate, Jordan Riak, has passed from this world, but he left a legacy of healing humanity. My heart is so heavy, as he was a dear friend of mine since 1997 when I was just 23, a year older than my son is now.

Jordan was the first person to give my children's rights work an online platform and a wide online audience, allowing me to have the validation and some of the first steps needed to actualize my life purpose as a child advocate. Jordan and I worked on several children's rights projects together from 1997-2006 through his organization, PTAVE. Later, when I published my first book in 2008, I was honored when Jordan included it on under his "A Few Good Books" section.

Jordan also was one of my references for becoming an adoptive parent. He wrote a letter on my behalf when I began the process of adopting my son, Brycen, then 11, from the foster care system in 2005. Jordan not only had a role in supporting my adoption of my son, but Jordan came to know Brycen through phone calls, and later, when we met in person in 2006 when we all spoke at the National Leaders on The Child and Nonviolence Summit in Chicago. Jordan was all child advocacy, all the time, yet my favorite moment of the trip to Chicago was when our wonderful group was having dinner at the hotel and Jordan and my son were discussing the Lego Bionicle toy Brycen brought along. I am including that heart-warming photo.

There was no greater child advocate than Jordan Riak, who spent countless and endless hours, years and his own money mailing out his self-published booklets educating parents and professionals on the detriments of hitting, assaulting and hurting children. His passion and tenacity inspired me and awed me greatly. When I stop to consider all of the children who have been spared the abuse of legalized assault because of Jordan's incessant outreach, I am humbled. Because this wonderful man has lived, there has been less violence, less suffering, less pain and less tears in this world. Children are safer, families are safer, homes and schools are safer, parents now parent in a more loving and gentle manner; cities, towns, states and countries are safer and our world is a more benevolent and peaceful place to live... because Jordan Riak lived.

Jordan, you were my mentor. I love you and the light of peace that you were who burned like a beacon of hope in such a dark world. I love the example you set, that you never backed down, that you never candy-coated violence against children or tried to placate adults with the niceties of trying to make them feel less guilty for harming children. I love that you stood up for the voiceless, that you generously gave and gave just in case it would help one more child. I love that I met someone like you, someone who stands shoulder to shoulder in my book with Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. My heart is pained knowing that the world is now missing a human being of your caliber and benevolence. However, I love that you brought me together with so many other wonderful child advocates like yourself, especially our family friends, Mady Gomez, Mitch Hall, Norm Lee as well as everyone at PTAVE and EPOCH-USA, as well as Douglas Maurer, Lloyd deMause and even Alice Miller and many other child advocates who I have met in person or through projects over the years- There are too many of these wonderful people to list them all here.

Goodbye, Jordan. I am honored to have known you, to have been your friend and to have had your mentorship as I developed my own career as a humanitarian and children's rights advocate. I am honored that my son was able to meet an example of human kindness like you.

With love,
Laurie A. Couture, LMHC
Author of Instead of Medicating and Punishing
Newmarket, New Hampshire

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To many people Jordan was surely a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, co-worker, etc. To me he was a friend, but also a saint -- and I use that word sparingly -- maybe of ten or so people out of the many hundreds I've met in my 60 years.

There are many people -- not enough -- but many -- who were drawn in some way, like Jordan, to help better the lives of children by helping reduce, and we hope someday eliminate, "spanking" and other forms of child maltreatment that is so common in the US and the world. Some have lent scientific muscle in the form of studies and peer reviewed research to show that spanking is anti-scientific and carries hidden harms. Some have campaigned on the religious front to help people realize Jesus never hit a child, or taught anyone to. Others labored from a medical or legal front showing harms and vagueness and inconsistencies in our laws that supposedly protect children from abuse, and yet afflict the same abuse at the state level. Others have shown how our "time honored tradition" actually did not come from some mythic "noble past" but rather had its roots in the theology of the Inquisition and, for "paddling" in particular, US slavery. Yet others have focused on the psychological damage that can occur to both child victims and adult perpetrators of spanking and school paddling in the form of sado-masochism and, in some cases, child exploitation and sexualized abuse. Yet others have shared deeply felt and horrific stories of their own child abuse and lasting harms it carried -- with often times neighbors, and society at every level, looking on and doing nothing, or even approving and encouraging the abuse.

Like so many of us, Jordan studied, wrote, spoke to school boards, etc over his lifetime to help end the cycle of abuse. But Jordan did something more with the aid of many people. Jordan created perhaps the single greatest platform and repository of all types of research and study material suitable for the average lay person to freely consume, study, and perhaps contribute to as well. The PTAVE web site truly covers all aspects outlined above -- scientific study references, religious, sexual, psychological, victim accounts, and letters from people who were freed from years of false teaching by his light.

There are other web sites, some of which serve specific purposes very well. I also hosted one,, for 12 years, and may host one again. But to me few, if any, have come close to the Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education, or PTAVE, web site. I think a seeker of truth will find all he or she needs on that site, no matter where they start in their thinking, if they keep an open mind and "have eyes to see," as Jesus said.

I know a number of us in our efforts would run news articles, court cases, victim interviews, etc by Jordan before we published or used it in some way, and occasionally Jordan would want to include some of those things on the PTAVE site. I know for many of us it was always a great honor to contribute something to the PTAVE site in some small way.

For younger or less religious folks -- and I don't want to sound flippant here -- Jordan's passing is kind of like some great person passing in the Star Wars movies where those in tune feel a "disturbance in the force." In Jordan's case, however, there is a real disturbance that is felt far and wide. It is not a magical disturbance in a mythical force, but rather the very real disruption in the very real force that Jordan was able to project through the Internet, written books, e-mails, phone calls, and other efforts where he was very much felt around the US and the world.

Jordan asked for advice, and gave advice, many times over the years. He will be missed by me as a casual friend and someone very great in this effort. I'm sure Jordan will be much more missed by close family and friends as the truly wonderful man he was. For you all I have the greatest sympathy for your loss. For myself and the rest of the world, I do not believe he will ever be replaced. On the plus side, however, Jordan's great work and legacy will live on with the greater awareness and changing attitudes toward kinder child care that Jordan so ably championed.

Jeff Charles

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Dear Anne, Family and Friends of Jordan,

We may be familiar to each other, though we've never met in person, due to the tireless work of Jordan Riak to improve the lives of children and families he brought us together to form a powerful movement that is gaining momentum to End Corporal Punishment in America's Schools and to share his valuable resources for nonviolent child discipline in all settings.

Jordan was the consummate professional at all times, even when he was frustrated with computers, he maintained a light-heartedness and we would share a laugh. He answered his phone with a warm, gentle voice ready to assist in any way he could.

Jordan was absolutely passionate about sharing his publication "Plain Talk about Spanking" and labored lovingly to compile and send daily mailings to anyone who had requested his pamphlets or who he thought would benefit from the information.

Jordan's website for PTAVE is a wonderful resource with an archive that includes many publications that are no longer available on the publisher's websites. It is where anyone can go to download a copy of "Plain Talk about Spanking" or find related articles, letters and resources.

During my years of working to end corporal punishment in schools, I have managed to unintentionally offend other advocates, because I insist on telling the truth. A big part of that truth involves sharing graphic photos of injuries that children suffered at the hands of authorities their education is entrusted to. These are vital in changing laws in the United States and worldwide. I am grateful to Jordan for realizing the importance of documenting and exposing the unacceptable treatment of children in U.S. institutions.

Jordan was fearless and he told me of an early interaction with an educator where he took the paddle away from them and did not return it, and of passing out flyers to parents in school parking lots--my hero! I always felt comfortable putting him down as a reference for the media or anyone wanting to learn more about nonviolent child discipline.

Jordan had a quick wit and gave examples that made people think. We planted seeds everywhere we went on the internet, and many have taken root. I've noticed that the articles and news reports use our words now--no more candy-coating the ugly truth--the beginning of true change.

Jordan's life was a labor of love. His very motivation in all he did was to be of service to others and ignite a fire in them to reach out and share how we can all improve our world through nonviolence. Jordan was my mentor, my friend and my inspiration. I am looking forwarding to meeting him in Spirit, until then, the work continues. As Jordan would say, "Carry on!"

Mrs. Julie A. Worley, President
Tennesseans for NonViolent School Discipline

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I got to know Mr. Jordan Riak sometime in the mid 90's, and he has made me who I am today in Ghana.

It was at a time I was trying discover myself and also trying to understand our educational system. As a teacher, I knew something was wrong.

Jordan helped me discover what was wrong and since then, I have become an advocate for change on the upbringing of children both at home and in schools, which has led to the law today on corporal punishment in schools.

It is no longer legal for teachers to hit their students for whatever reason, even though some few teachers are still doing it since it is the only language they understand themselves.

Jordan has been a father to me from afar, even though my dream to meet him one day could not materialise.

I would call Jordan anytime I had a challenge in my advocacy work here. Most of the time, when it looked like there was no way forward, I felt like I was not doing the right things, considering the degree of resistance and attacks from all corners. In those moments, I felt like giving up.

I remember one thing Jordan told me that changed everything and has kept me going to this day, and which led to the passing out of the law on corporal punishment in schools here in Ghana. He said, "Platini, don't give up, the children of Africa and particularly Ghana will forever be grateful for whatever you are doing for them"

This statement became my walking stick and yard stick. It has kept on ringing in my ears up to this day.

Jordan has been a blessing to his generation and across many continents. He might be gone, but his work will forever be remembered and for those of us left behind, we have no excuse to give up in the face of all challenges. The challenges should rather urge us on, as it had been with Jordan. He persevered throughout his work, and today we are celebrating his works across all continents and also celebrating his life. He fought a good fight and won the race.

It is said in Africa that when an elderly person dies, it is a whole library that is burnt.

Today Jordan is no more; for me personally it is a great loss. I don't know who to lean upon in such moments as when he counseled me so often on the phone and even designed materials for me to be used in Ghana--even sent me money to print them.

Through Jordan, I got to know Dr. Madeleine Y. Gomez. She has been a very faithful supporter of my work alongside Jordan, even though I've never met these two personages.

I say thank you, Mady, as I always call her, and thanks to the team of PTAVE. May the good Lord keep you strong to continue Jordan's good works.

Jordan, farewell. RIP

(NB: Please be so kind as to edit this message. I am sending this with tears in my eyes. Anytime I think of him, I shed tears. I have always dreamed of meeting him, embracing him, and saying, "Thank you, Jordan." It is a dream which shall never materialise.

Say hello to his wife on my behalf. Tell her she has a son far away in Ghana, and tell the children they have a brother in Ghana.

Though separated by distance, their father, my father, will forever be in my heart. I love them all.

I have heard and read much about them, too. Please keep the good work going. My regards to everyone in Jordan Riak's circle. I wish we could set up a foundation on his behalf to keep his name alive.

Lest I forget to mention: when it came time to choose a name for my organisation as I was about to register it, Jordan was the one who suggested the name to me. He said he had a friend [Adah Maurer] who set up an NGO but unfortunately had passed away. I gladly accepted his suggestion to adopt its name, End Violence Against the Next Generation. Thus was born EVANG-Ghana. So he was the brains behind the formation of one of the few NGO's in Ghana focused on children's rights advocacy.)

Christian Platini Ashiagbor

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