Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to go in to my internship for an extra day. Usually I wouldn't give up a shift at work to go into my internship, but it was a special occasion, the Invisible Children Organization came to speak to the Delaware NewTech Academy. Invisible Children is responsible for the now famous Kony2012 video.
Feel free to watch the video, it's a little over twenty minutes long. For those of you who don't know, Kony2012 was a campaign started by this organization in 2003 to stop the Lord's Resistance Army, lead by Joseph Kony, in Uganda. While the LRA may not be in Uganda anymore, the organization is still kidnapping children, turning them into child soldiers and sex slaves. Invisible Children is determined to put a stop to this and focus on rebuilding Uganda and other countries in Central Africa ravaged by Kony and the LRA.
So you might be asking yourself, well, why did the Invisible Children come to DNTA and speak to these students? Back in September, the 11th graders at DNTA learned about civil war, not just the American Civil War, but civil war in Africa and other countries as well. Their assignment was to either raise money for an organization to help reconstruction efforts or create a public service announcement about civil war. They were shown the Kony2012 video, and a lot of students focused on Uganda since they were so moved by the video. Some of the PSAs turned out so well, that one of the teachers, Mrs. Davis, emailed it to the Invisible Children. The goal was just to show them how much they impacted DNTA and ask to perhaps Skype with them or something along those lines. What the students got was far better than a short Skype session.
The Invisible Children organization has been doing its usual tour to raise awareness for its cause, and they sent a few members to Seaford High School to talk to the NewTech students. They talked about the background of the organization and showed their latest video. Perhaps the most touching part was a Ugandan citizen spoke to the students. He talked about his experiences during the civil war, and I think it put a lot of into perspective. The students saw that while their lives are rough, it could always be worse.
During lunch, NewTech played host to our guests, and they had a wonderful discussion. The students selected expressed interest in stepping up and becoming a part of the big picture. They talked about how they want to make an impact in the world and questioned what they can do to make that happen. This motivation was absolutely amazing. I really got the feeling that this was genuine coming from these students. They also expressed how much they want to go to the Invisible Children rally on November 16th in Washington, DC. Now, normally I would be thinking to myself, well, they just want to get out of going to school. That definitely is not the case here, the rally is on a Saturday. These students want to give up a Saturday to ride on a bus to go to Washington, DC, and that really moved me.
Overall, I am so glad I got to see the Invisible Children speak, but I am more proud of these students. People often worry about the future and the generation that will one day take over. When I see these students, however, I know that there is hope for the future. Sure, not every student is like this, but there are enough out there to make a difference.