Apr 012009
Authors: Emily Johnson

Imagine that 40,000 children were abducted from their homes in the middle of the night and forced to join a rebel army as killers. It seems unlikely here in the U.S., but in Northern Ugandan, it happens every day.

The CSU chapter of the international organization, Invisible Children, is hosting a film event tonight to bring about public awareness to the crisis resulting from a 22-year-long civil war in Northern Uganda.

“We hope to get as many people to know about this unseen war and to actively participate in ending it,” said Amanda Cupido, president of CSU Invisible Children.

“The Rescue of Joseph Kony’s Child Soldiers,” is a documentary about the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army and the story of the children abducted to fight his war against the Ugandan government to implement his own religious-based government.

The child soldiers are not Uganda’s only concern.

The approximately one dozen active members of the club, which formed in 2007, participate in a program called “Schools for Schools,” which raises money for Gulu High School in Uganda. This sister organization strives to inform people about the displacement of more than 100,000 people due to the war and the condition of the camps they are relocated to.

“About 1,000 people die a week in these camps due to unsanitary conditions,” Cupido said. “These camps are not only killing people, they’re taking away their culture too.”

Though horrific, civil wars and social crises in developing countries commonly go unnoticed by those not affected by them. According to the World Bank report, “Understanding Civil War,” approximately 20 million people have been killed and 67 million displaced by civil war since 1945.

After learning about Invisible Children a few years ago through a film she watched in high school, sophomore restaurant and resort management major Gabriella Polen was shocked.

“I felt so in the dark and even mad at myself for not knowing anything at all about a civil war that was affecting a country for 20 years,” she said.

Polen is passionate about the opportunity to volunteer her time to “Invisible Children.”

“It has opened my eyes to so many things, and it really feels good to be a part of something, using my time and talents to help people in need,” she said.

Sophomore liberal arts major Jill Moczarski has been an IC supporter for a year.

“I have seen the original documentary three times now, and I can say that every time I get the same feeling of sadness but also rage,” Moczarski said. “Without a doubt, (the documentaries) are hard to watch.”

Moczarski hopes others who attend tonight’s event will also be moved to take action. The goal is raise awareness and money.

Polen agreed.

“I just want people to know that there are things like this going on all over the world . It’s important for people to educate themselves about things that are going on in the world,” Polen said.

“The Rescue of Joseph Kony’s Child Soldiers,” which is free and open to the public, will be shown tonight in the Clark A building room 101 at 7 p.m.

Staff writer Emily Johnson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Invisible children showing

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Where: Clark A Room 101

Cost: Free

Event: CSU’s chapter of Invisible Children present the showing of “The Rescue of Joseph Kony’s Child Soldiers,” a documentary which tells the story of the leader of the Lords’ Resistance Army and the children abducted to fight his war against the Ugandan government in order to implement his own religious-based government.

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