25 Hours

Posted by Faithlynn Gabrielle on March 1, 2011 at 3:49am

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“If you could say one thing to your brother, what would it be?” “I would tell him I miss you and I love you.”

An amateur journalist who decided on a whim to pack some survival essentials and take some buddies to save the abducted child soldiers of Uganda, asked a young boy the question above. The boy’s answer was directed to his brother who was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joesph Kony. His brother had been gone for years and was mostly likely dead, while his two remaining siblings are trying to flee from one of the world’s most ignored humanitarian crises. The grief that you feel when someone very close to you passes is not something that you can express on paper, but you just feel.The ripping desperation you feel to have a person with you that was taken away for no justifiable cause, is an even more difficult shadow to describe.

Watching that little boy barely able to say what he would tell his brother through his tears, forced me to feel a shock of his pain that resulted in a publicly crying in my high school classroom. As simple as those two sentences the young boy spoke were, I can’t imagine saying anything different to the people I’ve lost. As much as I detest tearing up in front of people I don’t know well, it wasn’t something I could control at that moment. Even though some my classmates hadn’t experienced grief, and it still brought them to tears as well. The amazing thing about film is that visuals can break down walls that we put up to survive in a scrutinizing society and compel you to think and feel about matters we tend to avoid.

The three filmmakers who produced “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” were able to let the escaping children of Uganda walk out of Africa and tell a story that otherwise would not have been heard or seen. Out of the many documentaries that I’ve watched this one has stayed with me the most. It’s extremely personal, explains the  history of the northern Ugandan conflict well, and is brightening in a dark situation. If you haven’t seen the film, watch it. You can do so easily on YouTube by searching for Invisible Children. The Invisible Children movement has flowered with many staff members from the seeds of those three activists. Millions of people have seen the original documentary that has helped to fund scholarships and community rebuilding for the victims of the conflict.

Invisible Children’s main venue of activism is through the media arts, and on April 25th they are inviting everyone to donate 25 dollars to participate in their protection plan and to engage in twenty-five hours of silence out of reverence and awareness for children of Uganda.

The Protection Plan of the Invisible Children movement aims to accomplish:

  • Building a communication network and facilitating 24-hour early warning network.
  • Providing humanitarians with up-to-date information to better deploy their services.
  • Guaranteeing no massacre goes unseen.
  • Encouraging the continued defection of LRA rank and file combatants.
  • Providing every child rescued from the LRA access to rehabilitation.
  • Making total rehabilitation feasible upon the dismantling of the LRA leadership.

With the donation of 25 dollars, you will receive a t-shirt, a set of cards explaining why you are raising money since it is assumed that you are silent, and a lanyard to hold the cards.

Invisible Children also carries other t-shirts, bracelets, and handbags/messenger bags made by Ugandan women. Also, Duquesne University will be showing Invisible Children’s latest documentary “Tony” at 9pm free of charge on March 8th inside the Papper Lecture Hall located in Bayer.

Even if you can’t be silent on April 25th, purchasing the action kit, just donating, and even just talking about what you’ve seen from these once invisible children can continue their healing.

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