Saint Mary’s Invisible Children club, which helps raise awareness of child soldiers in war-torn Uganda, hosted members on tour from the national Invisible Children organization in Carroll Auditorium Tuesday.
The event featured a screening of an update on the organization’s progress called “Go.” presented by two men directly involved with Invisible Children in Uganda.
“Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war,” Kristen Metzger, senior, president and founder of the club, said. “We are young activists working to restore Northern Uganda to peace and prosperity.”
Through Invisible Children’s “Schools for Schools” program, students have raised $1.2 million towards the reconstruction of educational facilities destroyed by rebel militia, according to national member Terra Amelang.
“It takes sacrifice to give what nobody can steal,” native Ugandan and Invisible Children mentor Richard Mark Ochaka said.
The organization believes in providing education to kids of northern Uganda who have lost hope in their own futures. Amelang said the three things we can do to help are to buy their merchandise, participate in the “Schools for Schools” program and commit to the Legacy scholarship fund which involves donating $35 a month to cover all school expenses for one child.
Kids featured in the screening of “Go” had won the opportunity to go to Uganda and witness first hand what goes on in the lives of the people who live there.
“We were taken into captivity for two weeks before we were rescued by the American government,” Ugandan citizen and former war captive, Jimmy Ocaya said. “I was tied with a rope to two other boys.”
Ocaya’s mentor, Richard, helped him to find hope again and graduate high school. As Amelang explained in her lecture, this is a touching story that is sadly not the future for 93 percent of the youth in Uganda.
Metzger said anyone in the tri-campus community are welcome. She also plans on opening events up to the entire South Bend community.
“The people of Uganda are asking for a future beyond the conflict, and their pleas have inspired this organization,” Metzger said. “Our main goal is enable children to take responsibility for their destiny and the fate of their country.”