Students aim to raise funds for children’s aid campaign

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    A group of TCU students is determined to raise awareness and funds for the Invisible Children campaign, an organization that provides financial assistance to abducted children in Uganda, said a student involved in the campaign.Kelly Krammer, a sophomore social work major, said she helped create TCU’s chapter of the League of Nations, an organization devoted to raising awareness for the Invisible Children campaign. The League of Nations also operates at Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University.

    The Invisible Children campaign was started by three University of Southern California graduates who traveled to Uganda with the hope of finding a documentary story, said Jessica Chan, a representative from Invisible Children’s national headquarters.

    According to the Village Health Project Web site, more than 30,000 children in northern Uganda have been abducted by a rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army and are forced to become soldiers and sex slaves.

    “The students producing the documentary saw thousands of children walking from the outskirts of cities into the city to sleep on the streets,” Chan said. “The thing they fear the most is being abducted, and it is safer for them to sleep on the streets in the city than at home in the outskirts.”

    According to the Village Health Project Web site, as many as 40,000 children flee their homes in the countryside to sleep on the streets of nearby cities.

    Chan said the Lord’s Resistance Army targets children between the ages of 7 to 12 and desensitizes them to killing.

    “The abducted children grow up in an environment where all they know is killing so they begin to accept it,” Chan said.

    The national Invisible Children campaign is encouraging every young American to join in a protest April 29 to show the American government that high school and college students care about this problem.

    “We are asking every American to walk to their downtown and sleep on the streets,” Chan said.

    The organization has 135 cities that will take part in what it calls the Global Night Commute, and TCU’s League of Nations is planning to get a group together in Fort Worth, Krammer said.

    Besides organizing the Global Night Commute in Fort Worth, the League of Nations is working hand-in-hand with Praise Fest, an event held on TCU’s campus to raise funds for the Invisible Children campaign.

    Feleceia Benton, a senior advertising/public relations and theater major and coordinator of Praise Fest, said the festival will be held April 8 and will include a screening of the Invisible Children documentary and a concert led by various artists across the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

    Krammer said the money raised at Praise Fest will go directly to Invisible Children’s corporate office and then to the children in Uganda. The event will also support a full-length documentary that will hopefully make it into theaters, Krammer said.

    Benton said about 20 students are involved with the campaign on TCU’s campus and that it was easy for her to become involved in the project.

    “I think people innately have a heart for helping people in trouble,” she said. “I also am excited about getting involved because the Invisible Children Campaign is so organized. They state the problem, state the solution and give you a plan of action.