Monday, January 4, 2010

30 Days of Justice: Invisible Children

3:36 AM
Today's topic will definitely pull at your heart. Back in 2006, I was attending a two-week training camp for a mission trip I never went on. Part of the training experience was a “Refugee Camp”. They woke us up at 5am, we had 5 seconds to grab whatever was near by. We were loaded onto buses and forced to keep our heads down. We drove around for 20 minutes and then dropped off in a field. We had to barter for food and pee in the woods. There were periodic “raids” in which guys in all black with paintball guns would come running at us and we had to get to the “safe zone”. When it got dark, we had to walk a few miles back to our campground, in silence. It was the longest day of my life. This may sound like a bizarre training exercise [and it was], it was inspired after we viewed a documentary the night before called “Invisible Children”.

It was a film about 3 college age guys who went to Africa in search of a story. What they found was the ugly secret of child soldiers. Children who were torn from their families at a young age, and taught to fight with machine guns and grenades, for the cause of adults. Every night in northern Uganda, children would walk for miles to avoid being caught by these war-hungry captors. And “Invisible Children” is their story.

The documentary which released in 2003 has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people now, raising awareness about this war and this tragedy. The Invisible Children organization now exists to not only let people know about Uganda, but also to do something about it. They have rebuilt schools that were damaged by war. They provide scholarships for students to attend high schools and universities. They have also implemented micro-economic initiatives that are impacting 360 Ugandan’s in transition from internally displaced camps to their original homes as well as 13 formerly abducted child mothers who are now self-sufficient through our tailoring center that provides training in savings, investment, numeracy, literacy and health. These savings-and-loans initiatives have allowed villagers to save money and earn interest for the first time, freeing them to start their own businesses and provide for their families like never before. In short, Invisible Children is changing the culture of Uganda, and Africa as a whole. Watch the trailer for the documentary below, and allow it to move you to make a difference in your own world.

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!


Dana Higgs said...

Joy! I love the Invisible Children organization and movement. I was introduced to it in FCA at school 2 years ago. Both me and my best friend bought the bracelet and dvd combo, I still wear it and think of the children :) Thanks for hilighting this great cause.