Friday, December 31, 2010

Invisible Children

Well folks, this is my post about Invisible Children (IC). I've been meaning to post, but I've been putting it off as you can see. There's just so much information on them, that I didn't know how to get it all down. But without further ado, here it is:

Seven (almost eight) years ago, in the year 2003, three young men from San Diego, California embarked on an adventure unlike any other. The three young men, Bobby Bailey, Lauren Poole, and Jason Russell, decided that they needed to find an incredible story in the world. They decided to go to Uganda, Africa with simple recording equipment and camera's to film their story. With the help from friends and family, they raised the money to go to Uganda. Once they arrived in Southern Uganda, they searched for their story but they found nothing.

They then crossed into Northern Uganda and everything took a drastic turn. Bobby, Lauren, and Jason had found their story. A story where children were being kidnapped and trained to be child soldiers. A story where the girls would be raped by the older army men. A story where children would kill other children, where limbs would be hacked off, where the tribes people get placed in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. A story where horrific things were happening, but was invisible to to the rest of the world. The problem was this:

"The war in Northern Uganda has been called the most neglected humanitarian emergency in the world today. For the past 21 years the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)and the Ugandan government have been waging a war that has left nearly two million innocent civilians caught in the middle. The Ugandan government has failed to protect it's citizens from this rebel militia that has murdered young mothers and buried the young, leaving an entire generation of youth that has never known peace..."

First Con: Everyone standing w/ Jacob
When Lauren and the guys returned back to their home in San Diego, they put all the footage together and put out their first documentary, Invisible Children: Rough Cut. Fast forward seven (almost eight) years to 2010. It's April 2010 and I was sitting in my history class watching this documentary. I felt compelled to do something, to help. And I got my chance. Two Ugandan's and Invisible Children, Inc. roadies came to my school to share what was happening in Northern Uganda. Jacob and his mentor, Peace, were very inspiring to listen to; they spoke at the very first IC Convocation (con) at my school and I was a part of that. I felt good getting the awareness out; at our con, in the beginning, several students performed John Lennon's Imagine. Then the roadies showed another IC Documentary, from 2005, titled Legacy. The name of the film fit well with the name of the tour, The Legacy Tour. All of this happened when I was a Freshman in high school.

Me standing w/ James after school
Fast forward to September 2010, and I'm in my school's auditorium once again viewing another IC Con (Tour: Face to Face) put on by many of my friends as well as myself. At the beginning of the con, the dancers performed to a song called Be the Change by Mc Yogi. The middle of the con was a 2007 IC Documentary entitled Go and two more Ugandan's, James and his mentor Robert. The ending of the con was John Legend's If You're out There sung by more high schoolers. I was, once again, proud of all the hard work that we did. But now, I am a Sophomore. One year older, one grade higher, yet, I still have a long way to go. Run by the history teacher that I had as a ninth grader, our school as their very own IC club, called People Encouraging And Creating Equality, or P.E.A.C.E. I am the treasurer and I am proud to be the treasurer.

During the summer or club made Then and Now calendars to sell at the Grand Re-Opening of my high school to raise money for IC. We are still selling calendars and we are still raising and earning money for IC. We will raise money and I am not giving up hope that we can make a difference in the world. Whether in another country or your own community. Because if you're out there, go, and be the change that you want to see. For updates and more information and ways you can help, please go HERE!