Invisible Children Roadies!

February 20, 2008 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Good causes | Leave a comment

As I sit here at Panera enjoying a brunch bagel I see the IC roadie van pull into the parking lot! It is very obvious who is in this group. Four young adults who are asking each other things like, “Where are we again?” and “If we were in Georgia we could stay at my aunt’s house and actually shower and do laundry”, and “I miss my dog I haven’t seen her in  months.” Wow, she got me there. She is definitely tugging at my heart strings with that one.

 Yes, these are definitely the IC roadies. I am in awe. I spoke to one of them who was looking for a plug. I want to be their friend, I want to go up and talk to them, but I won’t – sigh. I will simply eavesdrop from afar.  They have to be some of the coolest people I will never know.

Check out Invisible Children. It is one of the best organizations I have ever come across. There sole mission is to end the war in Uganda which survives off of the blood and the labor of small children. The armies kidnap and brainwash these children and make them into soldiers who carry out gruesome and torturous killings. For the girls their fates are not so telling. Those who are not killed are taken as wives by the senior army officers. The stories that these children tell when they defect or are rescued from the war is astounding. It is amazing that in our world of Ipods, Paneras, and wireless capabilities, children are fighting wars and nothing is being done about it.

 Well, that was the case until three fresh out of college friends decided to take a trip to make a documentary. About what? They did not know. Then they found themselves in Northern Uganda. As they watched children hike for miles every night into local villages to sleep they knew they had found the reason they had come. The children hiked to escape. They feared staying in their own homes because during the night the militia armies would come and kidnap them and force them to fight. Now, Invisible Children is an army in its own right. Thousands of people -like me- were inspired by the movie about the night travelers. Recently, there has been great change in Uganda. Now, IC exists to send all the people who have been displaced by the war back to their homes and out of the temporary camps. They are making progress and the stories they tell are amazing.

 If I had on my Grace bracelet I would go talk to them, but I am not that brave. I will regret it later!

 There is also a great book along these lines. Ishmael Beah wrote his memoir about being a boy solider in Sierra Leone. It is called A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider. It is a heart-breaking, but a must read.

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