MOUNT VERNON — A horrible civil war is currently taking place in the country of Uganda. Tragic stories are being heard of young children being kidnapped from their homes and forced to serve as soldiers in a rebel army. A movement called Invisible Children is seeking to end this conflict and bring home the children. Their goal is to rebuild schools, educate future leaders and provide jobs in northern Uganda.
Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore Northern Uganda to peace and prosperity.
Mount Vernon Nazarene University will be hosting an informational Invisible Children event, planned by Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene, at 7 p.m. on Monday at MVNU’s R.R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium.
The event will feature two guest speakers — a former child soldier and his mentor. Both will tell of the events occurring in Uganda and will share on what they believe can be done to provide help in this war-torn country.
Deidre Phillips, local Invisible Children advocate, is hoping for a large turnout to help raise awareness of what this organization is doing.
“These kids are orphaned; whether it is from the war or from the AIDS epidemic, they are prime targets for Kony. My appeal is that God’s call will be heard to help these orphans in distress,” said Phillips.
Locally, there are organized clubs at Mount Vernon High School and MVNU the goals of which are to raise awareness of the current crisis and to raise funds as well.
“These people need counseling on how to live in society and to be productive individuals instead of the terrorists they were trained to be,” said Phillips. More than $3 million was raised last year to benefit the Ugschools, according to Phillips.
Programs have also helped Ugandan women in teaching them to make crafts in order to make money, showing them how to support themselves and plan for their future. “There’s a lot more that can be done,” said Phillips.
Visitors at Monday’s event will learn how they can sign up to make recurring donations; purchase merchandise whose proceeds go directly to programs aiding Uganda; or find information for participating in the local school programs for Invisible Children.