MISSION: “Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity.” CHRISTINE CLAUSING
History and Background The northern Uganda war has been called the most neglected humanitarian emergency intoday’s modern world. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda (GoU) have been waging a relentless war for the past 23 years, that has resulted in nearly two million innocent civilians having to fight for their lives, not only daily, but hourly. Thus far, the GoU's attempt to protect its citizens from this rebel militiaoverall has failed, which has resulted in an entire generation of innocent youth that has never known peace and love.
Community Need Over 1.2 million children have been captured by rebel warriors and are being forced to fight a war that they know nothing about. They are brutally trained, given automatic rifles and are put on the front lines of the Ugandan war. To try and keep their children safe, families have resorted to night commuting, hiding and running for their lives in the dead of night. These children soldiers are neverallotted amenities and opportunities that we take for granted, like proper housing, nutrition and education. Many children are killed, families destroyed and communities obliterated.
Goal Our goal here at Invisible Children is to promote peaceful living throughout the country of Uganda, end the Ugandan war, and ultimately return the millions of abducted child soldiers to their families.
My Personal Connection I am studying to become an elementary school teacher and more than anything, I want to help children in any way I can- even if they’re on the other side of the planet.
Inputs To put an end to the abduction and military training of children, we are striving to establish proper:
Process for Promoting Peace and Ending the Ugandan War
Protection of communities: By extending the Early Warning Radio Network (a station devoted to warning those in danger), launching Mobile Response Teams, and creating the LRA Crisis Tracker (a real time mapping platform, which tracks abductions throughout Uganda), Invisible Children is giving the most vulnerable communities the ability to receive warnings of LRA activity and alert local security forces to LRA violence. This network will also give humanitarians the information necessary to best deploy services
Encouraging LRA desertion: Through FM radio broadcasts and community-based defection fliers, Invisible Children will be sending "Come Home" messages directly to LRA members. These messages will inform the LRA how to safely defect and return home.
Providing rehabilitation and family reunification: There are currently no intensive rehabilitation programs in the LRA-affected regions of DR Congo. Invisible Children is partnering with experienced LRA rehabilitators and local community leaders to establish and operate a rehabilitation center in Dungu, DRC that will prepare children to reintegrate into their communities and reunite with their families.
Process for Promoting Peace and Ending the Ugandan War Cont.
Post-Conflict Recovery: Supporting the recovery of the war-affected communities is essential to achieving lasting peace. Invisible Children is improving the standard of education through the Schools for Schools program in post-conflict communities throughout northern Uganda.
Promoting the arrest of Joseph Kony and dissipation of LRA leaders: Invisible Children remains the strongest force in gaining international attention and public will to support the arrest of Kony, as legally mandated by the International Criminal Court. Through US-based mobilization campaigns and new technologies such as the LRA Crisis Tracker, Invisible Children will continue to push the international community to execute the ICC warrants and arrest Joseph Kony.
Outcomes Since Invisible Children began in 2003, night commuting has nearly ended for the children of northern Uganda. In the last two years, since 2008, an estimated 900,000 of the 1.8 million displaced children have returned to their homes. However, that leaves nearly one million people currently living in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. While the majority desires to return home, the issues surrounding their return are complex. Some have been displaced for more than a decade, and their former way of life iscompletelygone. Access to clean water, economic opportunities, health centers, and education are a persistent concern for all, and even more so for the many who contemplate returning to resource-barren villages.
Relationship to Critical Thinking Invisible Children is a foundation that relies heavily on critical thinking in that we need people to actually care about the devastation in Uganda. What is meant by this, is that we believe that when our supporters stop, begin to think and ask thoughtful questions about what is happening in northern Uganda, and in turn begin to process the real meaning of what is going on, we are confident that the fact that help is needed will be implicit. They will be inspired to help our cause in any way they can, be it through donations, purchases, or simply spreading the word.
Relationship to Critical Reading Relationship to Critical Reading Critical reading is an essential part of the Invisible Children foundation because we believe education plays an important role in the recovery process for the people of northern Uganda. For example, if public schooling is made available, children will learn how to read and understand authors’ logic and ask themselves while reading, “what is important here?” As the future of their country, it is important for these children to ask these types of questions to prevent the election of another leader like Joseph Kony.
Relationship to Critical Action After our supporters have learned about the devastations in Uganda, we hope that they will take informed action and join us in doing something about it, by getting involved however they can.
How does “Just Think” relate to Invisible Children? Just Think Foundation
Committed to changing lives, by broadening people’s thoughts and the questions they ask
Promotes asking questions like “what if” and “how can I make a difference?”
Tries to appeal to a younger audience, who can make a bigger difference in this world, in the long run
We are committed to changing and improving the lives of the Ugandan people, by ending the Ugandan war
We want supporters to ask important questions like “what is being done about this problem, and what can I do to help?”
We try to appeal to all ages, though much of our marketing is geared towards the younger generation, simply because they are the future change makers
How Can You Get Involved?
Participate in Invisible Children protests and rallies
Donate whatever you can, whether its money, time, or a helping hand
Purchase merchandise- 100% of the proceeds go towards the organization
Push our political leaders to act on the needs of the northern Ugandan citizens
Spread the word of the devastation in northern Uganda