When three young filmmakers traveled to Africa in 2003, they were shocked to find children with guns fighting alongside grown men, hordes of homeless youth doing homework by candlelight and families torn apart by civil unrest.
But when they found these conditions in Northern Uganda, they showed the truth of it all in the documentary “Invisible Children: Rough Cut.”
After leaving their homes in California, Jason Russell, Laren Poole and Bobby Bailey made their way through Northern Uganda documenting stories and personal accounts of children being kidnapped and forced into a 20-year-long civil war. And after traveling a war-torn land, the three young men returned home to become activists.
Now, The Invisible Children, Inc. is funding an effort to get more people involved and to promote the “Schools For Schools” campaign, which is a project aimed at bringing ten Ugandan schools to a nationally competitive standard.
Team Mountain West, the group bringing the documentary to CSU and various other universities in the nation, will be showing “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” tonight at 8p.m. in the Corbett Common Room.
“I think it’s important to have social awareness,” said Carolina Banuelos, Lamba Theta Nu community service co-chair.
Lamba Theta Nu, a campus sorority, is showing the documentary as part of a community service project.
“I really wanted to do something to help little kids,” said Revae Hackett, Lamba Theta Nu community service co-chair. “And I found this on the Internet, and it was really sad and interesting.”
Hackett has a passion for children in need, not only those in her own country, she said.
“I think it’s a big deal, what’s going on there, and I didn’t even know about it, which is sad,” Hackett said. “I think it’s important for CSU to be educated about it.”
The documentary showing is part of a countrywide tour and a promotional tool to get schools involved in the Schools For Schools program.
Schools For Schools was created by Invisible Children, Inc. as way to pair up American schools with elementary schools in Uganda. Every school in the United States that has a partnership with an elementary school will raise money and resources for it’s sister school. And, this global partnership is the long-term goal for Hackett.
“After the screening, I want to pair CSU with a school in Uganda,” she said. “I want to raise money and do promotions.”
But before the Schools For Schools project is underway for Hackett and her fellow volunteers, she has to inform the student body and show the film to as many students as she can.
“We are hoping for at least 100 people to come, hopefully more than that,” Banuelos said.
The screening is free, but Hackett encourages those who attend to bring money just in case they want to donate after seeing the documentary. Necklaces and shirts will also be for sale and all proceeds go to aid families living in Uganda.
“After watching it, most people feel really compelled to help,” she said.
The community service event is not only about the monetary donations, though. Hackett said she really just wants to increase awareness.
“I hope people realize how much help is needed,” she said. “I hope people can realize how good we have it and how much they really need.”
Associate News Managing Editor Jessi Stafford can be reached at email@example.com.
What: Screening of “Invisible Children: Rough Cut”
Where: Corbett Common Room