The conflicts in Iraq, Palestine and Israel are very well-known and highly publicized, but people often are quick to forget of the struggles that occur in less recognized countries, some of which have existed longer than one could have imagined.
Two film majors from the University of Southern California and one from UC San Diego realized such conflicts were happening and set off to Northern Africa to document the Sudanese conflict.
In a twist of fate, however, they ended up in Northern Uganda and the story they uncovered there shocked and moved them so deeply that they created a documentary and an organization called ‘Invisible Children’ to expose and raise awareness about this and other lesser-known conflicts around the world.
The film is centered on a group of Ugandan children known as Global Night Commuters, who travel by night for miles and miles to different cities where they sleep in makeshift camps.
Separated from their parents who are still back at home, these children have no choice but to travel great distances in an effort to resist capture by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group that seeks to overthrow the Ugandan government.
To get people to fight for the LRA, members kidnap children and ‘condition the stolen children through violent indoctrination until they, too, become soldiers,’ according to the Lost Children Web site.
The Global Night Commuters have been attempting to escape the hands of such aggressors for 20 years now, and this unexpected story that the makers of ‘Invisible Children’ stumbled upon compelled them to share it with others and to provide aid to these children.
The 55-minute ‘Invisible Children’ screening was hosted by the Muslim Student Union and UNICEF at UC Irvine on Monday, Feb. 26. It was co-sponsored by the Cross-Cultural Center and the Volunteer Center.
The hosts were joined by four ‘Invisible Children’ roadies, who have been living out of their van and visiting Southern California’s high schools and colleges presenting the documentary and selling merchandise for a couple of months now in what is known as the ‘Invisible Children World Tour.’
They also provided the audience with extra footage, which included trailers for campaigns they are launching, such as the Tri Campaign, Displace Me and Schools for Schools.
The Tri Campaign calls for donating $3 a week or, as they put it, giving up one cup of coffee, to support the organization.
The organization hopes Displace Me, an event that follows up on last year’s Global Night Commute will