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Two weeks ago, northern Uganda, which was on the brink of peace for the first time in 23 years after a long civil war, fell back into shambles. After almost two years of peace talks, two attacks were carried out.

“[The attacks] involved the abduction of over 50 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo and an attack on a military outpost in South Sudan,” said Scott Ross, president of the ASU chapter of Invisible Children’s Schools for Schools program.

I had never heard the term “invisible children” before. I was taken aback when I learned of an organization called with this name. To me, it sounded like some metal band.

But it turned out to be quite different. It is an organization whose focus is helping children that are caught in the midst of these horrific incidents in Uganda.

The conflict in Uganda started in the 1980s when a woman named Alice Lakwena believed she had heard the Holy Spirit’s voice. It told her to overthrow the Ugandan government, so she found followers and created the Holy Spirit Movement.

However, Lakwena was soon exiled, leaving no one to lead this movement. Eventually, a man named Joseph Kony stepped forward and took control. However, he was more extreme. He transformed this band of rebels into the current Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Throughout the next two decades, Kony and the LRA would wreak havoc in northern Uganda. They abducted children and indoctrinated them into the LRA.

The government was forced to protect its citizens by displacing nearly 1.8 million people from their homes. In 2005, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for Kony and several of his top commanders, but they have not been caught.

At this time, the state of Uganda is still largely unsettled.

According to Ross, “Uganda is in better shape in some aspects. The people in some of the displacement camps, where 1,000 were dying every week, are beginning to resettle in their villages.”

However, the cease-fire has expired and the final peace agreement has gone unsigned because the rebel leaders left the peace table.

“The peace talks were going very strong, and four of the five items on the agenda had been met. However, at the last moment, Kony and his rebels abandoned them and stopped coming,” said Ross.

As the conflict continues, so, too, do Ross and his organization.

According to the “Schools for Schools: ASU” group on Facebook, “Schools For Schools raises money to contribute to rebuilding Gulu High School in northern Uganda.” The group is hosting a screening of “Invisible Children” at 7:45 p.m. on October 15 in Coor 199.

But beyond movie screenings, ASU students can get involved in this great organization. Schools for Schools: ASU meets at 6 p.m. on Thursday nights in West Hall 167.

Now is a more pressing time than ever to stop this region of the world from sinking back into utter chaos. It is imperative that we reverse the world’s awful human rights record of the 20th century. Whether the crimes are happening in your backyard or in Uganda, a new age is upon us.

We cannot correct past mistakes, but we can remedy them by not letting more of the same happen.

Andrew can be reached at

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