My very first guest blogger is my 16-year-old daughter, Sara Ann. She wrote this article for her school newspaper about a cause that is very close to her heart.
The Price of Peace
“If the greatest generation sacrificed for war, what will our generation be known for if we sacrifice for peace? Peace is closer than ever, but Invisible Children’s work is far from done. This is an important time in Uganda’s history and we must be a part of its future.”
— Invisible Children
For more than a decade, Ugandan people have been relocated and forced to live in overcrowded displacement camps. This is a result of the most neglected humanitarian emergency in the world. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda have been waging a war for more than 23 years, which has left an entire generation of youth that has never known peace.
It began in the 1980s when a woman named Alice Lakwena believed that the Holy Spirit spoke to her and ordered her to overthrow the Ugandan government for injustice. As she gained followers, her movement gained momentum and resentment toward the government increased. Lakwena was later exiled and a man named Joseph Kony took control and her movement became the LRA. As the LRA attacked villages, the government was forced to evict Ugandans and relocate them into displacement camps, in which they must stay, for fear of abduction by the LRA.
Surprisingly, the LRA does not care who they abduct, including small children ages 10 and younger. In fact, it is estimated that more than 90 percent of the LRA’s troops were abducted as children. Even in these displacement camps, where they were moved as a safety precaution, the children leave, walk three to four hours, and stay the night only to get up bright and early and make the walk back “home.”
One of the many informative videos tells the story of a boy named Ofonyo Innocent who was one of those children, called a night commuter. He witnessed the abductions of friends, relatives, and peers by the LRA and watched as they were forced to commit horrifying acts against their own people. What child deserves to live this way?
Invisible Children officials encourage people through their mission statement, Invisible Children is all about using who we are to meet people where they are; every individual doing what they can to make a difference.
Open your eyes, let your mind leave the comfortable city of Germantown and realize what these children must endure. Most of us never encounter the circumstances these children must tolerate on a daily basis. Do what you can, raise awareness and get involved. Let’s make these invisible children visible; not just to our school, our city, our state, or even our country. Let our whole world see the lives of the invisible.
You Can Help.
Visit Invisible Children online and explore these and other ways to get involved.
Watch the movie. Purchase the The Rough Cut on DVD and share it with your friends.
Buy a bracelet. Bracelets are made by Ugandan natives, and each is associated with an “invisible child.” When you order a bracelet, you also receive a video about this child.
Tri campaign involves a simple donation of as little as three dollars each week and sustains life-changing programs in Uganda.
Buy a t-shirt. Donate money and help spread the word with a great t-shirt.
About Sara Ann (by her mom)
Last year at a youth event she heard a presentation on Invisible Children, a nonprofit organization that serves children in war-torn Uganda. The images of the children stirred her heart and moved her to action. She established a Facebook group to promote Invisible Children at her school, and within one day there were 180 members. Membership is now 300.
Sara Ann has been on two short-term mission trips to Puerto Rico and is active in small groups and student ministries at Germantown United Methodist Church and Living Hope Church. Each month she goes downtown with her Germantown United Methodist youth group to serve breakfast to homeless persons.
She is currently a junior in high school and plans to major in journalism and move to Africa after college as a missionary and journalist.