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Invisible Children

7 November 2011

img_9172_01Do we as a society forget children? Do we pass them by as no opinion worth considering? Do we remember them only for our own benefits or self-glory? Why do we forget so readily our own childhood and forget how it feels to be ignored? How can we as a society be so self-assured that a child experiences nothing like the emotion we do therefore giving us rightful opportunity to dismiss them?

Bottom line is that we cannot become a part of that society which dismisses the truth and creates its own reality creating detriment to only itself. Children are our souls, they are us and if we cannot see how much the world makes them suffer we can only see that suffering as a reflection of ourselves.

In retrospect this is one of the main reasons why the Guru Gobind Singh Children’s Foundation (GGSCF) was established, because people understood that something must be done. People here in Toronto realized that as fortunate citizens of humanity we could do our part to help the weak just as our Gurus did hundreds of years ago.

In the same way the GGSCF was created by a realization as so was Invisible Children.

Invisible Children is non-profit organization which was created by 3 young youths who had an itch to discover the truth. Invisible Children now has evolved as an organization giving individuals a way to respond to the situation in Uganda where many innocent children have been and are being forcefully inducted into the war
rebellion. The story of the invisible children sparked a grassroots movement mobilizing thousands of youth into action to raise money to rebuild war-torn schools in northern Uganda and provide
scholarships to African youth. One of many ways that the organization gets the word out is through meeting new people in their community, state, country, continent and WORLD! Many of the volunteers and members are backpack travelers and are so eagerly passionate about this cause that they may even become a roadie. Roadies are members who hit the road at the end of summer and travel across the continent to spread the word and find undying passionate people just like them to further spread how terribly important it is to listen to the pain the children are going through.

We were so lucky and fortunate that this year the roadies were back on the road and the foundation was able to get in contact with them so that we could also meet them and help host a screening of their new documentary! The documentary was called Tony Bracelet: A story about a Ugandan boy who has had firsthand experience of what it means to be war inducted.

Here is a preview: Tony Bracelet: http://vimeo.com/16189889

October 29th was the day of the great documentary screening, held at the Mississauga City Hall at 5:30 pm. A few members came early to help set up and got to meet our roadie friends from Invisible Children. Gerri Lutaaya, the giggly team leader for Northern Exposure, grew up in Ottawa Ontario and is a native of Uganda! She went to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she studied Global Development Studies and is happy to be returning to her stomping grounds this fall for the Frontline Tour. When she’s not on the road advocating for social justice, she enjoys riding her bike.

Bryan Funk has been a ‘New Englander’ for life living in Connecticut. He attended college at Plymouth State University in Northern New Hampshire. As a long time supporter of Invisible Children he could not be more excited to go on the road to share this story with Canada. Every day we are a day closer to ending this war, and we can’t do it with you!

Chelsey Echevarria is a girl who took a year off from University to go see some snow for the first time in her life. Hello Northern Exposure, she assumes she will need a pair of mittens, preferably with a maple leaf on them. She has been studying Women’s Studies and Nonprofit Management at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.

Juliet is 27 years old and works with our Schools for Schools staff as an education assistant. She is also a school teacher. She is interested in development and so she is interested in explore the different communities in the US and Canada. Juliet is ready to brave the cold and snow of Canada and is excited to meet the people there.

The documentary proved to inspire and motivate us. The personal stories in addition to the documentary helped to further touch us in a place where we could relate. Especially knowing that the person standing right in front of you talking and looking in your eyes had been right in the middle of such a crude rebellion, continued to make us more inquisitive and thoughtful to the situation these children are inducted into. Juliet was one of the roadies, but more importantly she was the member of the roadie team whom of which was born and raised in the rebellion but got out of it due to the organizations efforts. The Q&A continued and the roadies explained to us how exactly each penny was spent to help the situation. They also explained their new radio satellite initiative and the facts about
how president Obama has even shown support. (Detail information through links found at the end of article).

After the screening and Q&A with the members, there were also merchandise that were set up outside to sell to the viewers who came by Saturday evening. The amazing fact about their merchandise is that it is all 100% beneficial to the Ugandans because they are the ones who make them. It creates jobs, and money and economy. More importantly it creates awareness to the world and local society informing people that change must happen, children should not be brutalized and desensitized for war purposes.

Overall the night was great! Truly inspirational! It was also an amazing opportunity to get to know these passionate human beings who showed us how much of a difference our commonalities and righteous passion can make. If we truly believe in the truth it is possible to make anything happen, after all that is what drove our foundation and Sikhi to become what it is today.

For more information:

- History of Invisible Children: http://vimeo.com/22917561
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Exposure-Roadies/108560009247264

- Tumblr (blog): http://northern-exposure-ic.tumblr.com/
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/icnorex
- Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ICnorEX