Survivor informs USF of Invisible Children

As a 5-year-old, Agnes Aromorach slept in the cold and dark jungle at night to hide from soldiers and try to stay alive.

“The jungle, you cannot get used to,” she said to a group of 85 students during Invisible Children’s (IC) lecture, the second installment of the University Lecture Series (ULS) on Wednesday night in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater.

According to the IC website, the organization is geared toward promoting and restoring peace in parts of Africa affected by the terrorist group, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

“My parents sent me every day to spend my nights in the jungle … to protect me from being abducted, raped or taken to the bush to become a child soldier,” said Aromorach, who is now 23.

The LRA is a rebel group responsible for Africa’s longest running armed conflict, led since the 1980s by Joseph Kony, who has abducted thousands of children and brainwashed them to fight in his army.

Aromorach spoke after the screening of IC’s latest documentary, “Tony,” which tells a story about a boy’s life and survival during the war in Uganda.

She said she came to the U.S. to travel and speak about her life to inform people about IC’s project in Uganda called the Protection Plan, which aims to build an early warning radio network that will allow towns to communicate when there are soldiers nearby.

“I always like saying, ‘Charity deserves charity,'” she said in an interview with The Oracle. “(People in Uganda) deserve my charity, (and) that’s why I am here.”

IC is supported by “The Roadies,” full-time volunteers who travel around the U.S. to promote and represent IC.

Lindy Bateman, team leader of The Roadies, stood outside of the theater at a table and sold merchandise to raise money for the Protection Plan.

Bateman said The Roadies raised $845, of which 75 percent of sales were T-shirts.

T-shirts were sold for $25, handbags made by Ugandan women affected by the war sold for $75, and DVDs of all the documentaries IC has shown sold for $20.

When she was 17 and still in Uganda, Aromorach applied for a scholarship through IC after hearing of the organization from a friend, she said. She had several interviews and was awarded the scholarship for her high school education in her country.

“They started supporting me immediately,” she said.

Aromorach graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in May, and hopes to get her master’s degree in risk management if she can find a scholarship online.

“I want to live a life that people will remember,” she said. “Through (IC) coming into my life, it made me realize that in this life you have to do something not only for yourself, but for people you have never met.”

Aromorach said she will continue to lecture across the South for the rest of the fall semester.

“I will continue to do a lot more, whatever I feel like and offer my time to do,” she said. “I want to see (IC) do more things and help them. I will just do whatever it takes.”