Students raise awareness of ‘invisible children’ in Uganda

Imagine being afraid to spend the night in your own home for fear of being kidnapped during the night as you lay sleeping.

Imagine walking miles to the nearest hospital or safe haven every night to sleep for a couple of hours and then waking before dawn to walk all the way home.

Imagine living your life in constant fear of being abducted by rebels and taken away from everything you know.

Imagine being brainwashed through displays of torture and being forced to serve in an army.

Imagine enduring all of these things at just eight years old.

This is life for innumerable children in Uganda.

On February 19, 2006, at the Bridge Service, a viewing of the documentary Invisible Children, was shown and brought this injustice to light for the hundreds of teenagers, including many Eastern students.

Invisible Children: Uncover the Unseen is a documentary that was made by three teenage boys in 2003 when they traveled to the Sudan and Uganda.

The documentary tells the story of thousands of children in Uganda who are living in fear of being abducted by the “Lord’s Resistance Army” led by Joseph Kony, which has caused unrest in the country for over 16 years.

The mission statement of Invisible Children, Inc reads: “Invisible Children, Inc. is dedicated to providing financial resources to invisible children by documenting their true, untold stories in a creative and relevant way, resulting in positive change.”

The group Invisible Children, Inc. is going throughout the United States showing the documentary trying to raise awareness and money for this cause.

A group of Eastern students who were impacted by seeing the film have formed together and organized a showing of the documentary at Eastern in early April.

“We want the movie shown, because it’s such a terrible thing that’s been happening for so long,” senior Andrea Priest said. “Our goal is to spread awareness and hopefully raise some money. We’re starting with the Eastern community, but hope to move on to local communities.”

Priest, who studied abroad in Uganda, has her own copy of the film and has been showing it herself over the past year.

They hope that by showing the movie Eastern students will want to get involved in helping to diminish this terrible injustice.

“It’s an issue that is really ignored, there needs to be awareness for it,” sophomore Christie Davis said. “It’s the least we can do to raise awareness, hopefully people will be self-motivated to use their talents and abilities to help, even if only to buy a bracelet.”

The Bracelet Campaign is one of the ways Invisible Children, Inc. is trying to raise money for the families in Uganda.

The bracelets are handmade by people in Uganda and then sold for $20 along with a short film that tells the story of a child in Uganda who has taken part in this struggle for their lives.

The money that is raised by the Bracelet Campaign goes directly to help these families and also to help provide schooling and education for the children, fulfilling their motto, “Finally a bracelet that comes full circle.”

Invisible Children, Inc. is also selling copies of the documentary, “Invisible Children: Uncover the Unseen,” in their “House Party Kit” for $20 to anyone who wishes to show the film.

On April 29th, 2006, Invisible Children, Inc. is organizing a “Global Night Commute.” Their goal is for people to go sleep in the closest major city on the streets to raise awareness for the children in Uganda.

With the theme “we are taking this lying down,” this event will occur in over 100 United States cities, including Philadelphia.

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