Film, speakers address plight of child warriors

RICHLAND – A free film about Uganda’s “invisible children” will bring world speakers and issues to the WSU Tri-Cities community at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, in Battelle auditorium.
“GO,” about child soldiers in northern Uganda, will be shown as part of a nationwide tour by Invisible Children, a media-based nonprofit dedicated to ending Africa’s longest-running war. The group raises awareness about children who are abducted and forced to fight as soldiers for rebels terrorizing central east Africa.
The screening will include presentations by some of the Ugandans featured in the documentary, the first time Ugandan speakers from Invisible Children will present in the Tri-Cities.
“We are excited to launch our student involvement efforts this fall with such a unique presentation from Invisible Children,” said Claire Mourar, chair of student life for the Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities, which is organizing the event.
Eleven teams from Invisible Children are traveling America showing the film. Each team is backed by four American volunteers and two Ugandan advocates. The two advocates coming to WSU Tri-Cities are James and Robert.
James has walked during two separate seasons of his life as a “night commuter” to avoid being kidnapped and forced to fight as a child soldier. He recently graduated from secondary school (the Ugandan equivalent of high school) with the support of the Visible Child Scholarship Program and will be enrolling in university following his time in the United States.
Robert is on staff at Invisible Children’s offices in Gulu, Uganda.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Merchandise for sale to raise funds for Invisible Children will include bracelets, handbags and T-shirts made in Uganda.
“GO” was made in 2007 and documents 20 American students trekking into Africa’s longest running war. Invisible Children founders created the organization and the traveling presentation in response to the millennial generation’s apparent search for a purpose, a realization of “global citizenship” and the responsibility of the developed world to the undeveloped.
According to Invisible Children, the most recent outcome of this movement has been momentum behind rebel disarmament and the Northern Uganda Recovery Act (S.1067) recently signed into law by President Obama. Because of the advocacy work done by Invisible Children supporters across the country, 217 members of Congress have co-sponsored the bill.
With the support Invisible Children receives, it implements innovative and effective programs on the ground in Uganda. From rebuilding schools, to providing scholarships and mentors, to building micro-economic village banks in an effort to bolster the war-destroyed economy of Northern Uganda, Invisible Children is holistically approaching the recovery of this devastated region. For more information, visit