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Saint Mary’s aids Invisible Children

Ashley Charnley | Thursday, September 24, 2009

Several Saint Mary’s students have decided to take action in the fight against poverty by teaming up with the national group Invisible Children to help raise awareness and money for the people of Uganda.

The original group was formed to raise awareness about Uganda. The founders of the group made a film about their visit to the impoverished country.

The film “Invisible Children,” first screened in 2005, depicts the war in Uganda and the atrocities caused by the rebel army there. Children are being taken from their homes very young and trained to be soldiers, Kristen Metzger, president of the club, said.

“They don’t have homes. They don’t really have a social security number or anything. So if they die, nobody knows,” Metzger said.

There were five filmmakers who put the film together aiming to reveal “the power of stories to change the world,” Metzger said.

The group of filmmakers who made the original film has since returned to Uganda to update the film and was hopeful of peace talks. They are currently trying to get President Obama to sign a petition to encourage an end to the war, Metzger said.

The main goals of the group on campus are to raise awareness and to help raise funds for the organization. The group has four main committees; Better World Books, Change for Change, Schools for Schools and an advertising group.

Better World Books hopes to collect textbooks from students and then use the money they raise to buy books for schools in Uganda, Metzger said.

Change for Change will be collecting change at football tailgates and in the residence halls to raise not only funds, but also awareness for the club, she said.

According to Metzger, the organization is trying to branch out and have been contacted by other area colleges that want to help.

Another project the group is undertaking is called Schools for Schools, an effort in which the group connects with a school in Uganda.

Saint Mary’s is going to help an all-male Ugandan school, Metzger said.

“We will be raising money for that school and supporting the rebuilding for that school,” Metzger said.

Another campus group, which has visited Uganda, is also helping the Invisible Children members to truly understand the situation, Metzger said.

Saint Mary’s is also planning on teaming up with Bethel and other local colleges to hold events and increase their numbers.

Anyone interested in learning more about Invisible Children can visit their Web site at www.invisiblechildren.com and students interested in joining the group can contact Metzger at [email protected]