Cause of the Month: Invisible Children

Happy March! This month, our cause is Invisible Children. Kayla and I were both introduced to IC in high school when we attended a journalism conference in South Carolina. After viewing the documentary, we were left speechless, especially since so little was known about it here in the United States.

The cause was started in 2006 after 3 aspiring filmmakers from California decided to take a trip to Africa to find a story. The founders of IC were shocked to discover things that were going on overseas, learning about a long-standing war in Africa and how children were being used. Living in the U.S. we don’t see violence and war– at least not on the same level as smaller third-world countries.

In a nutshell, the film-makers discovered that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), lead by Joseph Kony has been terrorizing since its formation in the late 80’s. Abducting children and brainwashing/training them to become soldiers for their cause, the LRA has no mercy and will force children to kill the people closest to them. Night commuting became popular among the children of Uganda, moving to a different shelter every night in hopes of staying hidden from the LRA rebels and being recruited to join (there’s no yes or no option– if they find you, you’re forced to join).

Original documentary by Invisible Children

By sharing this documentary with the public, the cause has received a lot of attention and received so much support that they’ve really been able to make a difference, helping to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. They’ve also remained extremely involved, coming up with new campaigns and focus’ to help make a difference such as: Displace Me, book drives, scholarship opportunities for the kids in Africa, and recruiting popular musicians for the cause. Furthermore, Invisible Children provides screenings of their multiple documentaries, runs cross-country college tours, and sells merchandise to raise money– doing everything possible to get the word out and gain supporters for the Invisible Children.

Invisible Children shirt

Since learning about the cause in the beginning of its existence, Kayla and I have been following very closely. I even did extensive research and reporting on the topic of child soldiers for one of my college courses, helping to spread word about the horrible things happening in Africa—Read the article I wrote here or view presentation)

Invisible Children’s latest campaign- “Kony 2012,” goes viral this Monday, March 5th. Since so many people are unfamiliar with this man and the horrible things he’s done, IC plans to expose him and get his name out, in hopes of urging world leaders to take a stand and make him pay for what he’s done.  The documentary will be available to view online (at no charge), and IC is hoping to achieve at least 500,000 video shares to promote this cause– mark the date and join the cause!

If you’re interested in learning more about Invisible Children, making a donation, or getting involved, visit their website, Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.