These words from President Barack Obama to the African people last summer are what inspire young people to create change in Uganda. I was blind to the mission of the organization “Invisible Children” until last night, when roadies working for the organization brought their mission to my campus.
They began with a screening of “Emmy, Story of an Orphan” which profiled a young boy living in Uganda. Although he never was handed a gun, like many children in the region, his life was affected by the war in the country as much as the next person. His mother, Christine, died of HIV after being infected by Emmy’s dad. She was married five times due to the fact that she lost husband after husband to the war. Gratefully Emmy himself, along with his brother Martin, did not inherit the disease but even so, they both became orphans, adding to the thousands of children that remain parentless in the region.
The region of Uganda is more peaceful now than ever. For that reason alone, advocates claim that it is the prime chance for people to help out than ever before. The most effective means of creating change? Through education. However, secondary education in Uganda costs money. While some kids, like Emmy, are able to follow through with secondary education, so many children remain “invisible” and require our help.
Invisible Children runs a “Schools for Schools” campaigns which rebuilds schools destroyed by the war but 35$ per month is necessary to send each individual child to school. Through the program they are also given mentors to ensure that they are set on the right path to success. They called for people to pledge this amount monthly to send one child through school which, in my opinion, is not to big of a burden and truly worth the commitment.
Norman, Emmy’s grandfather also spoke to us, stressing the devastation that the army brought upon the country. He was abducted himself, and alluded to all the fact that all the atrocities brought upon the region were not covered including numerous abductions, mutilations, and burnt houses, leaving the country completely devastated. More importantly, he let known that it is the American youth that are exposing this problem and creating the real change in the country. While I first went to this event only to receive credit for my class, I am thankful that I did. I always knew I wanted to volunteer in Uganda, and now I am even more motivated to do so. While I know that this blog alone can’t motivate you to go out and donate, I would encourage you to learn more about the situation in the country and realize that we can really make a difference.