by Richard Le
Since 1987, central African countries such as Uganda and Sudan have felt the wrath of the belligerent Lord’s Resistence Army. Led by the ruthless Joseph Kony, the Lord’s Resistance Army has rebelled against many African governments. The LRA continues to perform despicable acts such as murder, rape, enslavement and the kidnap of children. The kidnapped children are then brainwashed and forced to partake in LRA activities. The LRA would pillage and terrorize communities. Hundreds of organizations and movements have developed in order to put an end to Joseph Kony and the LRA. One organization that stands out is Invisible Children.
On October 13, Invisible Children came to St. Thomas in order to inform students about the conflict in central Africa. Invisible Children is an organization seeking to end the conflict in central Africa and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers.
The organization provided a very inspirational and profound video to all the gathered students that described the mayhem that the LRA has caused. The video specifically focused on a young African boy named Tony, who was charismatic, funny and courageous. Tony was one of the many African children affected by the LRA. Because of the LRA, children like Tony were not even safe at home and were forced to night commute in order to seek refuge.
The video also explained how students across the world can assist Invisible Children by continuing to donate and spreading the word to friends and family. Invisible Children is currently working on a project by building radio communication towers in central Africa in order to inform citizens about the actions and movements of the LRA. With the development of radio communication towers, thousands of lives can be potentially saved.
Invisible Children has reached out to and gained support of many important figures, such as President Obama and many famous actors and actresses.
After the video, a young African woman from Uganda spoke to the students. Like Tony, she lived in constant danger of the LRA and described her traumatic experience. She explained how her own family members and friends were scarred by the LRA.
Many students found the Invisible Children meeting video inspirational.
“I thought the video was very touching,” said senior Mark Soto. “It definitely changed my perception in life. After that video, I want to support and donate to Invisible Children.”
With the help of teacher Jenny McConnell and senior Ryan Mattingly, Invisible Children was able to come to the school. Ms. McConnell and Ryan are huge supporters of Invisible Children and continue to make great strides in aiding the conflict in central Africa.
If Invisible Children continues to grow stronger and gain more support, the conflict in central Africa should end in no time. To learn more about and to participate in Invisible children, go to www.invisiblechildren.com.