Whoever says that today’s youth doesn’t care about the future of the world probably hasn’t met any one of the 700-and-some-odd students who attended the Invisible Children event last night at Dos Pueblos High. Nor have they met the dedicated group of seniors involved in Dos Pueblos’ Humanitarian Club. Club presidents Jordan Baimel and David Hershorne, along with club members Arielle Lafuente, Blake Bainou, Amelia Badish and Jacob Kovaks-Goodman banned together with the Invisible Children organization to organize an event that aimed to inform Santa Barbara residents about the plight of Ugandan children.
On its way across the country on its national tour, Invisible Children made a stop at Dos Pueblos’ new theater to screen its newest documentary, Black Is for Sunday. The film documentary followed fifteen-year-old boy Sunday, who lives in Northern Uganda and documented the suffering that people living in displacement camps endure everyday as a result of a politically corrupt government. “I don’t think I have ever seen my husband cry at a movie before,” said a woman who attended the event, “I cried. It is amazing to me that kids like this are so aware. I certainly wasn’t at that age. It’s incredibly refreshing to see teenagers so involved.”
Invisible Children representative John Shults described in even further depths the deplorable conditions these people must cope with. “The pain these people go through is unbelievable,” said Shults, who attended the event and posed for questions after the film. “But you guys are the difference,” he continued. “We want to make sure you know how much of an impact you can make.” Over twenty thousand children so far have been abducted by rebel armies in Uganda, torn from their families and forced to survive on their own; Invisible Children’s aim was to rebuild the existing schools which have been destroyed and provide a peaceful solution to the longest running-war in Africa by developing a solid new generation of leaders in Uganda.
“We are going to join their Schools for Schools program, for sure,” said Baimel in reference to the prospect of Dos Pueblos joining the high school fundraising organization. “We want to get this started while we are still here, so we can get a strong foundation for the years after us.” The Humanitarian Club has big plans as far as fundraising for Invisible Children, having already raised $800 in donations last night alone, club officers said. “The Humanitarian Club is dedicated solely to Invisible Children, and will be for several years to come,” Baimel said. “New leaders have been elected and they themselves are also dedicated to the cause. It’s something we plan to continue as a club and as a school.”
In the end, the number of people who attended was double the amount Baimel and Hershorne expected. “We thought we would get around four hundred, maybe a little more, but the house was full. It was insane,” said Hershorne, who founded the Humanitarian Club during his junior year at Dos Pueblos. “This is incredible,” said Shults, “There aren’t many turnouts like this for one school. What you are doing is great, it says a lot about who you are to be here.” Badish, a senior at Dos Pueblos, also shared this view. “It was so incredible to see that many people. We want people to walk away from this knowing they can make a difference - that no matter how big the group is, whether it is one hundred thousand people, or just yourself, you can make an impact. We hope that people will realize this now.”
For more information about Invisible Children, visit www.invisiblechildren.com.
Maude Kusserow is an Independent intern.