On Tuesday evening, a van pulled up outside Mercyhurst College’s Taylor Little Theatre with ‘Invisible Children’ spray-painted on the side. The people inside were “roadies” – college-aged students from all over the country who were there for one reason: to rescue the child soldiers in Uganda.
Why come to Mercyhurst to do that? The volunteers know from experience that their message has a big effect on audiences everywhere. Invisible Children has reached senators, celebrities, and thanks to thousands of protesters, even made an appearance on “Oprah.”
Mercyhurst’s UNICEF branch organized the visit from Invisible Children, an organization dedicated to ending the 24-year war that has killed thousands of innocent people and kidnapped approximately 60,000 children to use as soldiers in Uganda.
Sophomore Kristin Pepe, who organized the event, said, “We’re supposed to advocate for children all over the world, and that’s exactly what this organization does.”
The documentary drew more than 50 viewers. The surprising part was that at least 20 people stayed afterward to talk with the roadies and sign up to donate $12 per month.
“Instead of buying that cup of coffee or that soda between class, we’re asking you to donate $3 a week until this war is over,“ one of the roadies said.
Among many other things, this money pays for gas for the roadies, the only support they receive from Invisible Children.
The donation tables were buzzing for at least 20 minutes after the documentary. Sophomore Samantha Fiorello and her friend even ran back to their apartments to get their debit cards.
“It was just really moving. It makes you feel like you should be doing something,” Fiorello said.
Thanks to Invisible Children and other organizations, a bill to capture those responsible for the war has passed through the U.S. Senate and was recently introduced into the House of Representatives. For more information on Invisible Children, go to invisiblechildren.com or contact Mercyhurst’s members of UNICEF.