5.03.2011

Invisible Children

If you remember from April 1, I decided to do a monthly post dedicated to Africa.  This post was no April Fool's Joke and now I am excited for the second monthly installment of "African Aspirations."  If you're new to my blog or didn't happen to see my first post about this, click here.  The point of these posts is a) To raise awareness about a part of the world that does not always get the attention it deserves and b) To start each month with reflection and gratitude for what we have.

This month's post will be about Invisible Children.


Invisible Children started as a documentary in the Spring of 2003, when 3 young filmmakers traveled to Africa with big dreams.  During their travels, their eyes were opened to one of the greatest injustices going on in our world:  The terror led by Joseph Kony for the past 23 years.

I was first introduced to the film my freshman year of high school:  I was shocked, saddened, and above all, inspired to make a difference.

Kony

The war led by Kony has been called the most neglected humanitarian emergency going on in the world today.  His Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is a rebel movement that began in the 1980s when a woman named Alice Lakwena claimed the Holy Spirit came to her and told her she must overthrow the Ugandan government.  Her followers began the Holy Spirit Movement.  After Lakwena's exile, Kony took leadership of the movement, forming the LRA.  

When Kony did not receive the support he needed, he resorted to abducting children in the night and turning them into child soldiers:  It is estimated that more than 90% of his army was abducted as children.  He turns these children into killing machines, often forcing them to kill their own families.  They are called invisible, because no records are kept of how many or who they are; they simply vanish.

Despite numerous peace talks and raised awareness, Kony has not backed down.

Since the film's debut, Invisible Children has transformed into a successful non-profit organization that focus on long-term development, working directly with Ugandans, to repair the war-torn country.  They rebuild schools, provide scholarships, employ mentors, and implement micro-economic initiatives to aid with the successful transition of many Ugandans back to their homes.  I am a part of the UVA Invisible Children chapter which participates in the "Schools for Schools" campaign.  Our partner school is the Lacor Secondary School in Northern Uganda.  We also work to raise awareness around grounds through film screenings and talks.

Here are the two best videos I found on YouTube that give you a sense of the organization.  The second one is a bit longer, but provides a good overview of the first documentary and is well worth your time--in my opinion the most moving parts are from about 6:30 to the end if you're short on time.



I have seen the film countless times over the last 8 years and it still brings tears to my eyes.

To get involved, click here.  

To donate to the cause, click here.

Have you heard about this tragedy?  What are your reactions?

On a happier, note, don't forget that today is your last day to use the Dahl House Jumbo Dot 25% off discount!

Also, be sure to check out my first giveaway from the dahl house, here

11 comments:

  1. Wow. What a great post. I had not heard about this non-profit organization until now. This breaks my heart that these innocent children are being turned into killing machines and not much is being done about it. It sickens me and saddens my heart. Thank you for posting this to make us all a little more aware of what is going on.

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  2. Thank you girl for doing your part! That is awesome. I for one, wouldn't have known if not for you. So so sad. Heart breaking:( I love your heart!

    I am loving everything over at Dahl House...mercy!

    Have a great day!

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  3. I've heard about this movement before, but you did a great job of summarizing it. So glad you are bringing awareness to this awful tragedy.

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  4. I've never heard about this group and appreciate your post on it. Thank you!

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  5. Wow, That is so sad. The group sounds familiar, but I am not sure if I have heard of them. Thanks for sharing this, I am def going to look into it!

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  6. Wow! Posting about a new issue every month is such a great idea. Not to mention Invisible Children is such a wonderful charity to support.

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  7. I absolutely loved your first post on Africa last month...and this one is just as heart-wrenching. You do a great job of stating everything diplomatically while your compassion shows through. Very excited to read next months!!!
    ps-good luck with all the school stuff this week!!!

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  8. This is so amazing and so incredibly sad at the same time. How something like this can be allowed in our world is beyond me...thankfully you are helping in your own way to get the word out and I'm so glad I took the time to read this, it is inspiring. I can't even imagine what I would do if one of my children was taken from me, it's the most awful thought I can imagine...and these poor children that are taken just breaks my heart.

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  9. Hi there, just wanted to let you know you are part of my paying it forward blog post today :)

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  10. A friend of mine is part of this organization at our school and always spreading the word and having campus-wide events of the documentary to raise awareness. Every time I watch these videos or anything related to Invisible Children I feel such a heaviness in my heart, it's a real tragedy. Thanks for sharing, it's such a good cause.

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  11. I haven't seen Invisible Children, but most of my friends have, and they said it is just so sad. Everytime I hear or see things about children being abducted to be made into soldiers, it makes me so sad--I can't even imagine, but it also makes me so thankful for everything I have.

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Your comments brighten my day!