Invisible Children: 25

The first time I learned about Invisible Children was in high school when a club I was involved in talked about participating in the Schools for Schools program. We ended up deciding to fundraise for Nothing But Nets and having an awareness night about Darfur. But I was exposed to Invisible Children and all that they were doing. Also, I had some friends that were passionate and involved in events Invisible Children put on. In college Gavin and I participated in The Rescue. As a result of The Rescue and rallies in Washington a bill was passed to apprehend Joseph Kony. Now Invisible Children is putting on their next event The 25 Campaign.

History of Invisible Children and The War

The story of Invisible Children is pretty inspiring. In 2003  three young guys from Southern California went to Africa in search of a story to tell through a film. What they found was the story of the tragedy in northern Uganda of night commuters and child soldiers. They created the documentary “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” which has now been seen by millions of people. Since then they have held the Global Night Commute, Displace Me, The Rescue and started The Legacy Scholarship Program, Schools for Schools, The Bracelet Campaign and Mend among other programs.

The war in Uganda has been going on long before Invisible Children was founded. Joseph Kony took over a rebel army that was started by Alice Lakwena in the 1980s. Since then Kony has resorted to abducting children to be indoctrinated into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). It is estimated that 90% of the LRA is made up of abducted children. Millions of people have been displaced because of the LRA. There have been multiple sessions of peace talks, but Joseph Kony has failed to sign peace agreements on multiple occasions. Currently the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued warrants for Kony and four other LRA leaders. The war has been going on for 25 years now in Uganda. If I had been born in northern Uganda I would know nothing but war. I can not even comprehend what that would be like. You can read more about the history of the war on the Invisible Children website.

The 25 Campaign

When I watch videos about what is going on over in the Congo and other affected areas sometimes I feel helpless and like there is nothing I can do to change what is happening. But, there is something I can do: participate in The 25 Campaign that Invisible Children is putting on. For 25 hours, from April 24th at 7pm until April 25th at 8pm I will be going silent and standing in solidarity with thousands of people around the world for the children that have been silenced by the LRA. As a part of The 25 Campaign each participant is asked to raise at least $25. One dollar for every hour of going silent and for every year of the war. The $25 goes to fund The Protection Plan, which will provide services to LRA affected areas. Direct outcomes of The Protection Plan include:

  • Building a communication network and facilitating a 24-hour early warning network.
  • Providing humanitarians with up-to-date information to better deploy services.
  • Guaranteeing no massacre goes unseen.
  • Encouraging the continued defection of LRA rank and file combatants.
  • Providing every child rescued from the LRA access to rehabilitation.
  • Making total rehabilitation feasible upon the dismantling of LRA leadership.

So by now you may be asking yourself “What can I do?” For starters if what you have read and watched has inspired you, touched your heart, or motivated you to act I would encourage you to sign up for The 25 Campaign yourself, start your own fundraising page, and stay silent April 25th for the children who have been silenced by the LRA. If you can’t do that (which is perfectly ok) you can support me by donating to my fundraising page. If every person who reads this donated $1 then I would reach my goal of raising $25 (or at least a lot closer). In the grand scheme of things $1 is not that much money: less than a cup of coffee, a soda, a candy bar, bag of chips, and a bunch of other things. If you decide to donate to my fundraising page you can either give me your donation the next time you see me before April 24th or you can go to my fundraising page to donate.

Thank you in advance for your support and donations. Feel free to call or email me if you would like to talk more about 25 or Invisible Children and what they are doing, I would love to talk with you about it. I truly appreciate all of your support!

p.s. I’m kicking in the first $5 because I truly believe in what Invisible Children are doing! So now only 20 people would need to donate $1 for me to reach my goal! Thanks again for your support!

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