It’s the nightmare that hundreds of thousands of people in Central Africa have because it has already happened to their family or they fear that it will.
For over 20 years, children in Central Africa have been the target for many kidnappings by an organization known as the Lord’s Resistance Army. Also known as the LRA, and led by a man named Joseph Kony, these kidnapped children are forced to kill their own mothers and fathers and then shoved into military slavery.
Many people now know about Kony and the LRA because of a movement led by an organization called Invisible Children, which released a documentary in 2006 of the same name.
Filmmakers Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey, and Laren Poole originally had gone to film a documentary on the War on Dafur in 2003, however changed their focus to the conflict in Uganda when they realized no one was really capturing the tragedy that was occuring.
The organization continues to spread the word about the humanitarian efforts in Central Africa through documentaries, social media, visiting schools and other events.
On October 3rd, the organization Invisible Children made another visit to Jacksonville State University.
Invisible Children has brought representatives to JSU’s campus for the past 5 years, thanks to Lauren Herring. Herring’s passion for Africa was sparked by a visit to the country in 2008. After her visit, Herring wanted to bring Africa to students here so that they would know about what’s happening on the opposite side of the world.
Komakech Lawrence, who is a mentor with Invisible Children and grew up in Uganda during the time that the LRA was present there, shared his story at the event.His father and uncle were captured by the LRA one night; however, his father managed to escape and returned days after the attack.
His uncle was not as fortunate and was killed by the LRA. He shared his story after a documentary about the current state of the LRA in Uganda, what Invisible Children is doing now, and what students can do to help those in Central Africa.
SGA President Jason Sumner feels that to do nothing is to help the evil that is occurring. “Every student on this campus should be aware of what Invisible Children is, why it’s important, what it stands for, and what they can actually do to make a difference.”
It’s not too late to get involved with Invisible Children and to make that difference. Documentaries are available and there is also an opportunity to sign up to make a monthly donation that will help pay for the education of a student in Central Africa and the various other causes of Invisible Children.
For more information on how to get involved visit www.invisiblechildren.com.