Last year two days after my birthday, someone ( I may never know, but thank you still ) asked me to share my aspirations. Or even better, what I had yet to realize would become my dearest aspirations. And this little question and my little answer continue to resonate deeply within me today.
Over twenty years ago ( and approaching 30 ), the LRA changed their mission from staging a political revolt to impressing and arming children my age and younger, raping and maiming women and children, and desperate due to their lack of support and respect, engaging entire communities of innocent people in Northern Uganda in unwarranted combat and subjecting their property to ruthless destruction. And for over twenty years, the United States government and the international community stood aside.
Invisible Children is more than a charity, this is a revolution. At its core, Invisible Children is a movement to change the broken systems we face today. To reject the broken institutions that say one life is worth more than another. To defy the broken conceptions that say the youth are merely here to serve and elect the old who keep our best interests at bay. To obliterate the broken conventions that say injustice is inescapable, that it’s simply not possible for everyone to experience the same freedom and rights that we do. At Invisible Children, we’re not here to project the ideas of leaders but to elevate the voices of the oppressed. Please, if you or anyone you know have any doubts about that, do ask.
The mission and values around which Invisible Children is centered sparked the fiercest kind of hope in my soul that shines just as brightly today as it did nearly two years ago (which is actually fascinating seeing as I have the attention span of about a goldfish). This matters to me because we have the opportunity to change the lives of people who have endured guerilla warfare for decades, to make a world of difference in the lives of children who have never known life apart from fear. And I care because these human beings are not so different than my little brother and neighbors, and I would never stand to watch injustice so heartless rule their lives.
If there’s anything I realized in San Diego last summer, I’ve learned to share. To share my story, aspirations, goals, questions, and dreams. And I don’t even stop at my story - I speak for Tony and Jolly, for Sifa and Odette, and even for Jason Russell maybe in that one place on Earth where his voice hasn’t quite reached. So please, I invite you to share your story, aspirations, questions, concerns, and criticisms. I’d really love nothing more than to hear what you have to say.