Thursday, March 24, 2011

invisible children

some roadies from Invisible Children were at our office yesterday. We have had a long standing relationship with them from back in the Steelroots days, and now Halogen is working on a new show for them.
For those of you who don't know who Invisible Children is/are, let me give a brief description again: 3 California guys decided to buy a camera and go on a trip to make a documentary. They chose northern Uganda. Once there, they heard the story of the Night Commuters, children who would leave their homes at night to walk into the city to sleep. All of these children and their families were fearing they would be kidnapped by the LRA led by Joseph Kony. Kony and the LRA would go into villages and kidnap children to turn them into child soldiers. They would be forced to kill others, the girls would be turned into sex slaves, and they would not be able to see their family. It has gone un-seen for years. This war has been the longest civil war in Africa.
Invisible Children got involved, making the documentary, giving opportunities for people to help, not by swooping in and trying to fix everything, but by providing means to help them become self sufficient.
Since then, the LRA has left Uganda, but moved into bordering countries. IC helped pass a bill to get the US government involved in stopping Kony! And these are guys that our in their mid twenties. They are litterally changing a nation! All of the "roadies" are volunteers. They raise the own money, go around the country showing the different films, selling the different products, and raising awareness. They now have lots of programs going on in Uganda. The thing that stands out to me the most is that they have clearly stated "We are not leaving Uganda. We aren't going anywhere". So many times, once it looks like things are fixed, people leave. But they are helping by providing counseling through local churches to child soldiers who have escaped, helping women have trades and jobs, educating the children and providing scholarships, and continuing to be involved politically with finding Kony.
That was a lot. Sorry. Anyway, go to the website. Read about it. Learn about the organization. See if there is anything you can to do help. Even by buying one of the DVD's, they come with a bracelet hand made by a Ugandan, all the money goes back into that village.
this one is a preview of Tony's film. We just watched it. Not a dry eye in the house (also, Tony is HILARIOUS!)

and this one is about Grace (this is the first one i bought a few years back)

If you buy a shirt, they are made from cotton grown in Uganda, and all of the money goes back there. You can sign up for the monthly program that now allows radio communication between villages to let them know where the LRA is and where they are headed next. So much can be done.
Here is my favorite of all of those things:
MEND Treahouse Crossbody // BlackMEND Treahouse Crossbody // Black
this bag (which are awesome, right?they have billions of pockets in them. you can fit everything, even your laptop) are handmade by Ugandan woman who were former LRA abductess. (translation: they were child sex slaves) One woman works on one bag from start to finish. Not an assembly line. And then, when she is finished, she sews on a label with her name on it. The one i saw was made by Margaret. Once you buy it, there is a card in there telling you about your bag's maker. So there was a card about Margaret and her story. They money goes back to Margaret and her fellow purse makers. The program is called MEND and it is helping these women have a trade. The bags aren't cheap ($95 for that one, and $85 for the guys) but think about where the money is going. I am personally saving up to get one. because i need a mary poppins bag like that...

mainly, please keep praying for IC. They were started by beleivers, and almost everyone there is on fire for Christ. The Lord has given them much favor over the years. It is awesome to see what all has been done already. watch some of the videos and maybe pray about getting involved
(and feel free to buy me that bag... you know...early b-day present and what not.)

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