By Maggie Weinreb
On Thursday, September 20, Invisible Children came to Union. At the presentation, volunteers from the organization presented the film “Rescue.” They introduced Richard, who lives in Uganda and works as a mentor to the child soldiers who have returned home to try to live a relatively normal life. Union has strong ties with the organization; Erika Steuer ‘15 worked to bring the organization to campus and Elana Katz ‘14 is currently taking the term off to volunteer for Invisible Children in San Diego, California. I decided to go to the event to learn a bit more about the situation. Apparently, I was one of only a few people to make that decision. While many students have come out to support previous Invisible Children events on campus, namely the one last year about KONY 2012, this time around, only 14 students showed up. It is possible that students believe they know the entire situation. However, no matter how educated you are about such issues, the lack of support for the organization and for Richard was incredibly disrespectful.
Richard stated, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for one good man to look and then look away.” Many Union students have heard about the issues in Uganda and even promoted KONY 2012, but that is where the help ended. We are letting the evil succeed. This is a point that bothers me with many projects. We see the horrors, but what can we do next?
As college students, we don’t have a ton of money to donate. But Invisible Children doesn’t only ask for your money (although if you have that, it would help!) They want your time, your dedication, and your advocacy. On November 17, Invisible Children invites everyone to Washington, DC to remind the elected President and other important government officials of their promises to help bring peace to Uganda as well as in other nations that are currently struggling with violence. Invisible Children wants these politicians to “turn their promises into performances.”
At Union many of us have life stressors. I know I am constantly overwhelmed by course work, extra curricular activities and multiple jobs.
We all have to deal with our own personal issues, and I will not discredit them. But at moments of personal struggle, it is important to think about others and ask yourself what you can do to help at least one other person. Union students should have considered this before they decided what to do last Thursday evening.