Representatives from Invisible Children, a non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of lives for war-affected children in Northern Uganda, will be on campus today to speak with students and to present a short film.
According to www.invisiblechildren.com, this cause began three years ago when three young filmmakers from California traveled to Africa to find a story. However, they ended up finding one that turned into their own international awareness. Because of the 20-year-old war between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistant Army, the lives of nearly 2 million innocent civilians were not protected. The army murdered mothers and buried children. At night, it even recruited children soldiers. Although the government and rebel army have held a truce for more than a year, the United States and other nations are still monitoring the process.
Invisible Children has made it its mission to aid the children in Uganda by providing access to quality education, enhanced learning environments and innovative economic opportunities for the community, according to its Web site.
Abby Romanin, senior general studies major, is a member of 707, the Bible study group that is sponsoring Invisible Children’s visit to Kent. She said it’s hard not to be passionate about this cause after seeing the film about a child living in a displacement camp in northern Uganda.
“Once you see the video and see how dramatically it affected just three college students like ourselves, it’s hard to really ignore the fact that people are really hurting in a big way,” she said. “And even though it’s on another continent, they have the same feelings and passions that we do.”
Romanin, who is also planning to get a certificate in non-profit management, is hoping for at least 200 students to attend the showing and presentation by Invisible Children’s Great Lakes’ road crew.
“This is an opportunity for college students or anybody to make a difference, and I think that’s something a lot of people are looking for,” she said.
Students can donate money to this effort by purchasing bracelets that are handmade in Uganda and then packaged in the United States. Each bracelet is sold with a short film that tells a story about a child affected by the war, according to the Web site. This bracelet campaign not only spreads awareness around the world, but also helps to provide jobs in the northern Uganda community.
Students have two opportunities to attend the event tonight in the Governance Chambers on the second floor of the Student Center. The first showing will start at 5 p.m., and the second will begin at 7 p.m. Each showing will be followed by a presentation by the crew during which students are welcome to ask questions.
Romanin said she loves how this organization represents its message.
“There are so many non-profit organizations, and the fact that this one was started by college students and has done so much in so little time just really makes me want to be involved with them,” she said. “You can just tell that these guys are passionate, and that they’re doing what needs to be done.”
For more information about this organization, visit www.invisiblechildren.com or www.myspace.com/dirtyfeetproductions.
Contact student life reporter Brittany Wasko at [email protected]