Jason Russell Kony 2012

March 28, 2012 by staff 

Jason Russell Kony 2012, Hosting more than 100 students, the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center teamed up with Invisible Children to screen the viral “Kony 2012″ video before spring break.

The film is a way for Invisible Children to raise awareness of the continuing 26-year conflict in Africa, said Hannah Fordham, Invisible Children’s Northern California team leader. It is also a way to make Joseph Kony a household name in hopes that he will be captured by the end of 2012.

Kony kidnapped more than 30,000 children into the Lord’s Resistance Army and forced them into conflict, Fordham said. Boys became soldiers and girls became sex slaves.

No other Invisible Children video has gone viral the way “Kony 2012″ has, she said. In the past, screenings were the main way to raise awareness. Now, screenings help give people tangible ways of getting involved and put a face to the cause.

Each traveling Invisible Children team consists of five roadies, or full-time regional representative volunteers, Fordham said. Volunteers from Northern Uganda travel with each group to share their accounts of the conflict.

The face of the cause for the group that traveled to Chico was a Northern Ugandan woman by the name of Patricia Akello. She told her stories of conflict in Africa, having her home burned, her loved ones abducted and seeing fear every day.

“There are many close people to me who were abducted and who died in this conflict,” Akello said. “There were many, not just one or two or three. Many.”

Akello came to the U.S. with Invisible Children a month ago, after earning her college degree in Uganda with a scholarship from Invisible Children, she said. Only 1 percent of women in Uganda receive a university education.

The LRA moved to the Congo and Central Africa in 2006, Akello said. Ugandans experienced living without fear for the first time. Before that, people slept in the jungle to stay safe, and if the LRA found children with their family, they would be forced to kill their parents.

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