Under the Knife: Invisible Children brings Uganda issues in plain view

One of Geneseo's most recently recognized organizations, "Invisible Children," gives interested students a special opportunity to directly help schools in war-torn northern Uganda.

Invisible Children is a national organization founded in 2005 in response to the documentary "Invisible Children: Rough Cut." The Geneseo chapter became SA-recognized last semester and is already establishing a strong presence on campus.

On Nov. 14, the club will host Rock Uganda, a benefit concert featuring local bands and musicians. Tickets for the Rock Uganda concert will be on sale in the Union lobby tomorrow and on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Other planned activities include a book drive with Geneseo Central School District and a GSTV telethon. Next semester, club members will be part of a national event called "Displace Me," where participants will camp out in cardboard boxes to resemble the conditions of Internally Displaced Person camps in Uganda, where about one million Ugandans live today.

Geneseo's chapter of Invisible Children is closely involved with the organization's Schools for Schools program, which pairs 13 regions of the U.S. with 13 high schools in Uganda. The northeast region, which includes over 200 high schools and colleges, has raised over $17,000 for the high school to date.

Geneseo is paired with Sir Samuel Baker Secondary School. Northern Uganda, presently facing the end of 23 years of war, and last year, Invisible Children raised over 3 million dollars to rebuild schools in the area.

"All of the money we raise goes to the kids," said sophomore and member of the group Samantha Perez.

Club president Justine Porter said that the Schools for Schools program is, "really interactive. You can see exactly where your money is going."

She said the organization is "not about sympathy and feeling bad," but rather about raising awareness and empowering young people to make direct, positive change.The club currently has about 20 active members and meets Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in Union 351.

Aside from working to raise awareness and fundraise for Uganda, Porter says the club offers a great opportunity to, "have fun and meet new people."