Kent State Invisible Children Organization brings speaker from Uganda



Julie Myers

A Ugandan native traveled to Kent State to speak Tuesday on behalf of Invisible Children and share her experiences growing up in a war-torn country.

Before the speaker and Invisible Children scholar, Scovia Angiro began the presentation with a video showing how the Invisible Children organization, including the affects of the Lord’s Resistance Army and the continuing efforts of the volunteers.

“Every time that I sit in the back and watch this film, I can’t help crying,” Angiro said. “I know that this is somebody’s life.”

The three founders of Invisible Children were inspired by a Ugandan child named Tony who they felt was full of charisma, according to the movie. They met Tony on their first trip to Uganda and returned multiple times to visit him.

During a visit, the founders discovered the need for the natives’ independence and schooling. They created scholarships and provided mentors to help fulfill that need. Angiro was a recipient of one of the scholarships.

“My mother could hardly provide a meal for us in a day,” Angiro said. “I never thought one day I would even step in school.”

Angiro said she is part of the 1 percent of women in Uganda who graduate college each year.

She is planning to join her country’s parliament in the upcoming future.

“Just because of somebody’s generosity, like you, someone supported Invisible Children, and they came up with a program called the Legacy Scholarship Program,” she said.

Anigro said she wonders where she would be without Invisible Children.

As of now, Angiro said Uganda is at peace. However, she still worries about her siblings because violence remains in central Africa.

“Very young girls are being kidnapped and forced to serve as sex slaves. Very young boys are being forced to serve as child soldiers,” Angiro said. “What if that young girl who was being forced to become a sex slave was my little sister? And what if that little boy was my younger brother?”

Kent State’s Invisible Children chapter president, Reshmi Mehta, said the organization is working on a campaign called Zero LRA.

“We’re trying to make (Joseph Kony’s army) disappear, hence the name,” Mehta said.

Growing up in Ohio, Mehta said some people do not realize what happens outside of their cities or states. Invisible Children provides an opportunity for people to do something.

“I really hope they gain some clarity on what Invisible Children is,” Mehta said. “But more importantly, I hope they learn about other situations happening in the world around them.”

Erin Miller, an Invisible Children worker, said the organization provides LRA soldiers with escape resources including radio towers, rehabilitation and fliers, which are papers with maps and stories of soldiers who had escaped that the organization drops in soldier-populated areas.

After receiving a letter from a current soldier who wanted to escape, Miller said Invisible Children raised $25,000 and dropped the same number of escape fliers.

Joseph Kony is the leader of the LRA, one of Africa’s oldest terrorist groups. The soldiers fight against the Ugandan government. The LRA conflict has been going on for almost 30 years.

The Invisible Children organization strives to create awareness of the abductions occurring in central Africa.

Contact Julie Myers at [email protected].