April 27, 2007

Displace Me. Crackers, Water, Cardboard…Child Soldiers

 

 

“Young people who are haunted and changed by what they have learned about Northern Uganda are making a difference.”

—Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director, Religious Liberty Programs

 

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Washington, DC—This Saturday, April 28, an all night rally titled “Displace Me,” will show solidarity with the 1.5 million displaced people of Northern Uganda. Displace Me is being held in Washington, DC, and fourteen other cities across the country.  The goal of Displace Me, sponsored by the Invisible Children movement, is to encourage compassion towards the people of Northern Uganda and encourage strong U.S. support for the peace process between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Participants have been asked to bring with them a box of saltine crackers, a bottle of water, and enough cardboard to make a small tent. They will simulate the experience of a displaced child of Uganda.  The co-author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books) which will be released in June on the children of Northern Uganda praised young people across the United States for their commitment to that African region.

Faith McDonnell, Director of Religious Liberty Programs, commented:

More than 30,000 children have been abducted in the last twenty years and forced to commit unspeakable crimes by Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ (LRA). And because of the instability caused by the LRA, some 90 percent of the Acholi people of Northern Uganda have been forced to live in displacement camps within their own country.

These grassroots activists are building a “protection of love” around the children of Northern Uganda.

This year’s event is a follow-up to the ‘Global Night Commute’ that Invisible Children sponsored in 2006. In that event, tens of thousands of Americans spent the night outside as an expression of solidarity with Northern Ugandan children, known as ‘night commuters,’ who must walk into town every night to sleep in a location that may offer some protection against being abducted by the LRA.

Those who are building a protection of love over the children of Northern Uganda are defiant in the face of the deception that says, ‘People are suffering all over the world. Who do you think you are that you could make a difference?’

Young people who are haunted and changed by what they have learned about Northern Uganda are making a difference. Displace Me will convince you of that. Along with my co-author, Grace Akallo, a former child soldier abducted by the LRA, I hope that Girl Soldier will add to this rising awareness.

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