Invisibility envisioned

She wants people to see the “invisible children.”

Lucia Camperlengo, a senior majoring in biomedical sciences, contacted the international nonprofit organization Invisible Children, Inc., located in California, for her Honors College thesis focusing on global activism at USF.

The organization, which raises awareness about the lives affected by the war in Uganda, agreed to visit USF tonight at 7 in the Student Services building Room 1091 to screen its original documentary “Invisible Children: Rough Cut.”

In 2003, three college students went to Africa in search of a story and made a documentary detailing the civil war in Uganda, Camperlengo said.

For more than two decades, guerilla rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), have been trying to overthrow the government of Uganda.

“They are a really violent group,” Camperlengo said. “The things they do are unimaginable.”

Camperlengo said the group is losing numbers and, in response, has resorted to abducting innocent children from villages to increase its army.

The group of students who made the documentary formed what is now called Invisible Children, Inc.

JoLeah Stiles, a regional manager for the Invisible Children, Inc. tours, said young adults need to rise up as a generation and do something about the situation in eastern Africa.

“It’s just one man and his army, 90 percent of which is children who have been kidnapped from their homes and schools, brainwashed, and forced to be soldiers,” she said. “Forced to kill their own families, kidnap more children and just kill people in the most violent of ways.”

Stiles said coming to the presentation Wednesday is the simplest way to get involved. Four members of the organization, called “Roadies,” are setting five months aside to visit Florida schools like USF and spread the story, she said.

At the presentation, students can meet the Roadies and watch “The Rescue,” a documentary, which shows the unrest in eastern Africa.

Students can sign a citizen’s arrest warrant for LRA leader Joseph Kony, which Invisible Children Inc. is sending to President Barack Obama this December, Stiles said.

The organization is selling bracelets and handbags made by people in Uganda.

“They come with a DVD about that person’s life that tells how buying a bag or bracelet helps them to live a better life,” Camperlengo said.

At the screening, Camperlengo will announce plans to interview volunteers after four to six weeks.

“I want to see if this kind of event motivates students to get involved, if they have contributed to this issue or were even inspired to go out and find something they’re passionate about,” she said.

Stiles said everything the organization does is geared toward developing Uganda and ending the war that has caused so much destruction.

Invisible Children Inc. has scholarship programs, as well as programs to build schools and employ war-affected citizens in northern Uganda.

“It’s a really great organization,” Camperlengo said. “So many people are involved and while it is growing, it needs to get even bigger. This documentary will put it in people’s faces, and that is the only way things are going to get done.”