Invisible children seen and heard

Ashley Nadeau

Henderson 100 was full of activity as members from the group, Invisible Children, played the documentary film, “The Rescue of Joseph Kony’s Child Soldiers,” and answered questions from Washburn students.

The film profiles Joseph Kony, the leader of a northern Uganda rebellion called the Lords Resistance Army.  It tells of Kony’s “night commuting,” which is a 15-year practice where LRA members kidnap local children while they sleep and force them into a life of violence, as soldiers in the renegade army. 

Kony has successfully kidnapped and imprisoned more than 30,000 children for his army to date, resulting in 90 percent of his army being composed of abducted children.

As footage of the mutilated faces of the children who wanted to defect from the LRA was played, sounds of shock and disbelief could be heard throughout the room.

“Oh my God,” one woman said with her hands over her mouth.

Several students in attendance had tears in their eyes when footage was shown of children who have had their noses and lips cut off was shown.

After the documentary, members of Invisible Children requested help from Washburn students. They explained that they hope to collect 250,000 signatures asking the United States to officially support a bill to help end the tragedy in Uganda, and present them to President Obama at the White House on Dec. 15.  Group members explained that by going to or Students can let their voices be heard by providing their signature of support. Group members also suggested writing or calling senators to request support for the bill. 

The group also told of a program called “Schools for Schools,”  a national collection of collegiate clubs that works to improve education in Central Africa by providing funding to rebuild schools that have been destroyed or impoverished by the 23-year war that has consumed the area.

“All you have to do is start a club on campus and go to the link on our Web site. Our main office will contact you with more details and provide supplies to raise money,” said Ivory Mobley, Invisible Children member since Jan. 2008. Mobley went on to talk about the incentives for students who participate in the cause.

“Each region of the U.S. is connected to a school in Uganda. The top selling school in the region gets to send one student to Uganda to visit the school they are helping. All the money raised by students goes directly to rebuilding.”

Many students were interested in helping Invisible Children. T-Shirts and DVDs were sold in large numbers at the event. Others vocalized their offers of assistance.

“It made me want to do something about this. Those poor kids shouldn’t have to be put through that kind of life. I will most definitely be writing my congressman and senators to suggest they help in this movement,” said freshman Alexis Turner. “I would totally join a ‘Schools for Schools’ club if Washburn had one, for sure.”