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Invisible Children screening promotes student involvement

The Invisible Children organization is back and going strong, showing a documentary across the country, including its founding city, San Diego, in order to increase students involvement in their organization.

PLNU’s Invisible Children (IC) Club promotions drew about 60 students to the ARC Nov. 4 as “roadies,” volunteer IC representatives, showed the nonprofit’s documentary, “The Rescue.”

The film explained the history of IC and their mission to stop Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), while also providing updates on what has already been accomplished. Afterwards, a roadie from Uganda shared her story, and students asked questions about the organization. At the end of the evening, students were challenged to create a fundraising page on an available laptop to support IC in their mission to bring LRA child soldiers home.

“I’ve seen the film 40 to 45 times, and different parts re-give you the motivation of why you’re here,” IC roadie Caroline Garcia said. “I hope the first time people will be watching it, they’ll be inspired not just to listen but to do something about it.”

Students can get involved by raising awareness through social media, purchasing IC merchandise, or joining the IC club on campus. According to club president Christina Issa, the club is planning fundraisers, a beach cleanup, a tour of the IC offices, and a spring benefit concert at OB1 church. The documentary screenings were meant to promote awareness of IC on campus.

“I hoped that people who came would leave with more knowledge than they had at the beginning of the night,” Issa said via email. “Through the clips the roadies showed and the Q&A session, I feel that that was accomplished. I think the event went well and I’m excited there was a great turnout!”

The event was part of the roadies’ tour to fundraise and increase awareness throughout the country. IC’s current focus is their #zeroLRA campaign. According to a Washington Post article last month, this 10-week campaign focuses on fundraising to help the 140 captive women and 72 children escape the LRA. Their slogan is “Stand for nothing [no child soldiers, no killing, no war], celebrate everything [every escape, every name, every life].”

IC was founded in 2004, and since then, the LRA has moved from Uganda into the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan. Last year, their Kony 2012 video went viral with over 98 million Youtube views, aiming to make Kony infamous and bring him to justice. After the widespread attention, of both support and criticism, IC still works to end the conflict.

According to their website, IC uses a four-part model to address the conflict: media, mobilization, protection and recovery. They raise awareness and inspire American youth to action, while also providing support to LRA victims and working with political leaders around the world to bring the war to an end.

Club Vice President Monique Gonzalez said seeing the hurt of these child soldiers is enough to motivate her to get involved with Invisible Children and do more.

“Every time I watch an Invisible Children documentary, I always cry,” Gonzalez said. “I always feel the struggle that these children are going through, and I feel inspired to help them.”