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Invisible Children: the facts behind the organization

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In the spring of 2003, Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey, and Laren Poole traveled to Darfur in Africa to film the struggles that it faces, but they changed their focus to the war in Uganda against the Lord’s Resistance Army, also referred to as the LRA.

As stated on their website,, they aim to “make the world aware of the LRA. This includes making documentary films and touring them around the world so that they are seen for free by millions of people.”

They documented the life of many children that ran away each night to avoid being captured by the LRA and forced to become  child soldiers. They were shocked to see that children sleep in run-down warehouses or in schools huddled up overnight.

“The Invisible Children film and Kony 2012 video were captivating because they were real and caught my attention to something serious that needed to be changed. A lot of us didn’t know who Kony was, but after the video, I hope more people will know who he is,” said Carlmont student Eshani Patel.

When their film, Invisible Children, was showcased in the Joan B. Kroc Institute For Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego in 2004, Russell, Bailey, and Poole established Invisible Children to raise awareness through films and Public speeches of the horrors children faced each day from the LRA.

“Some organizations focus exclusively on documenting human rights abuses, some focus exclusively on international advocacy or awareness, and some focus exclusively on on-the-ground development. We do all three. At the same time,” said Invisible Children.

Michelle Mckee is the only teacher on campus who shows Invisible Children to her Freshman world studies class to “expose them of children their age, that are neglected the privilege to go to school and freedom because they are turned into child soldiers.”

But this year, Invisible Children has set up the goal to bring Joseph Kony to justice and charge him for all the murders, rapes, and kidnaps that he has committed in the last 26 years throughout Central Africa.

Invisible Children plans to do this by bringing attention to Kony’s crimes in order to inspire Americans to pressure the United States government in taking more action and providing the necessary military aid and money to the Ugandan military in order to capture Kony.

“It’s great to know that Invisible Children is raising awareness, but I don’t think they should provide any military aid to an already corrupt Ugandan government that will continue to use weapons to kill families and destroy villages,” said Carlmont student Rhonda Makatrin.

Invisible Children uses the money that it raises from fundraisers and merchandise sold on their website to support their awareness program and Central Africa program for children and families that have escaped the LRA power.

An estimate of 26% of their financial income goes towards tours, video production and equipment, web and media, and communications, whereas an estimated 37% goes to their legacy fund, which provides children with scholarships to continue their education. Within the Central African program they build homes, orphanages, and schools (the complete layout of their finances can be found online.)

Although the organization only received three stars out of the four from the Charity Navigator, which helps people clarify on which organization is credible and responsible; at the moment they are interviewing future board members to complete the five member council that will earn them four stars.

“There is not an organization out there that is perfect. IC is learning from their experiences, especially from the massive criticism they are receiving from the Kony video, but at least they are doing something,” said McKee.

To this day, Invisible Children travel around the United States to advocate the youth on the importance of being aware and involved of their local and outside community.

“Invisible Children is built on the values of inclusiveness, transparency, and fact-based discourse. We ask no one to just take our word for it. We WANT you to see everything we are doing, because we are proud of it. But we also want to motivate you to act – not just watch,” stated Invisible Children.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Invisible Children: the facts behind the organization