They say every war has an end, and Invisible Children is out to prove them right.
A San Diego-based non-profit, Invisible Children is a group of self-described “storytellers” who believe that today’s youth generation has the power, passion and perseverance to end Africa’s longest war and free the thousands of children caught in the crossfire.
Beginning as a video journal of their adventures in Uganda, the idea for Invisible Children evolved as three young men discovered themselves in the middle of an unknown war. A war with invisible victims: children. Coming back to the States, they made a documentary to tell the stories of these “invisible children” – some 30,000 Ugandan youth, abducted and forced to fight as child soldiers.
This Monday, November 8th, at 7 p.m., Invisible Children is coming to Christ Chapel as a part of their fall “Face-to-Face” tour. It is billed as an evening focused on making the stories of these children personal. The team will present their newest documentary, “Schools for Schools,” highlighting the peace progress on the ground. Following the forty-minute film, a Ugandan student will share her personal stories of war and hope.
“This is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of Africa’s longest war that tragically has involved thousands of child soldiers,” said Marlon Haverdink, NW’s Director of Service Learning. “What students see and hear will be shocking, but like so many issues where darkness seems to dominate, rays of light and hope are breaking in. The evening will be incredibly inspirational.”
Junior Rebecca Bagley adds, “It’s important to learn about things in the world that matter, things in the world that we can do something about. This isn’t just an issue, another cause we ‘should’ learn about. The conflict, the rebuilding of schools and the release of these children are things we can do something about.”
Invisible Children is working against 23 years of deep political and historical conflict on the ground as they begin to rebuild displaced communities. The conflict began as politician-turned-rebel-leader Joseph Kony clashed with the Ugandan government in a senseless battle for power. His rag-tag militia turned to abducting children to supply their numbers in the late 1980’s after Kony lost the support of his ethnic minority. Because of the conflict, millions of people have lived in refugee camps for decades, putting them at greater risk for abduction.
To bring stability, Invisible Children builds schools. These schools act as a catalyst bringing people into the community and thereby reestablishing the village. Then, under the direction of Ugandan community leaders, funding goes to scholarship programs and business initiatives promoting eco-sustainable prosperity.
“This movement is all about thinking bigger and more beautifully about what it means to love our neighbors,” said Bagley.
“As followers of Christ, we need to be salt and light in these tragic situations, and thankfully, movements like Invisible Children give college students just that chance. College students have been inspired to be the voice for change,” said Haverdink. “Change is happening!”