‘Invisible Children’ UH seeks members
Even with the recent surge of attention and controversy surrounding Invisible Children, University of Houston’s chapter is still struggling to garner new members.
Originally founded within the Honors College, the chapter has attained most of its current members from that community, naturally. Mathematical biology sophomore Kendall Mills, the chapter’s president, says it is difficult to organize campuswide events with so few roots among the overall student population.
“We’ve been trying really hard to make this a university-wide chapter,” Mills said.
“We’re listed under the organizations, and we try to do things at PGH, but it’s harder than we thought it would be to get people to realize that we’re here.”
Invisible Children was founded in 2004 to promote awareness of and activism against the actions of the Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader, Joseph Kony. Its programs focus on eliminating the threat of the LRA and rebuilding affected communities through education, rehabilitation and economic growth.
The UH chapter is part of the organization’s Schools For Schools Program, which focuses on the construction and renovation of 11 secondary schools in some of the most war-torn regions of Uganda.
“Our chapter is in the Pabbo Secondary School cluster,” Mills said. “Ninety percent of the money we raise goes directly into the construction of the school for things like maintenance, hiring teachers and giving scholarships to students.”
Members are given the chance to help make a difference and see the benefits of the funds through bake sales and events like their fall semester Pie-A-Thon.
“I love that we can see directly what our money is doing,” Mills said.
“We can see pictures of the school. Francis, the student that came to speak last year, actually went to Pabbo Secondary School. I think that’s really great.”
Invisible Children was brought to UH in 2009 by history senior Joshua Ellis, who was involved in high school. Ellis saw the organization as one with a pure message that was easy to support.
“A lot of organizations have good effects on students when they join them. I feel like a humanitarian one would have one of the better effects,” Ellis said.
“That was a lot of the motivation — to have something to support that had a greater cause and something we could contribute to.”