In the spring of 2003, three young Americans traveled to Africa and created films that expose the effects of a 20-year-long war on the children of northern Uganda. These children live in fear of abduction by rebel soldiers, and are being forced to fight as part of a violent army. The overwhelming response has been, “How can I help?” To answer this question, the non-profit Invisible Children, Inc. was created, giving compassionate and inspired youth an effective way to respond to the situation. And for the first time on TV, this material has been created into a series of special features exclusively on Halogen TV. Visit InvisibleChildren.com.
The founders of Invisible Children have a new reality show on Halogen called “Roadworthy.” Here are the details!
EP 1 – Invisible Children: Rough Cut - Can a story change the world? In the spring of 2003, three young Americans traveled to Africa in search of such a story. What they found was a tragedy that both disgusted and inspired them; a story where the children are the weapons and the victims. After returning to the States, they created the documentary “Invisible Children: Rough Cut”; a film exposes the effects of a 20-year-long war on the children of northern Uganda. These children live in fear of abduction by rebel soldiers, and are being forced to fight as part of a violent army. The film was originally shown to friends and family, but has now been seen by millions of people. The overwhelming response has been, “How can I help?” To answer this question, the non-profit Invisible Children, Inc. was created, giving compassionate and inspired youth an effective way to respond to the situation.
EP 2 – GO: Schools for Schools – In 2007, Invisible Children posed a challenge to youth around the world: raise $1 million in 100 days to rebuild schools in war-torn northern Uganda. Thousands of students rallied, and 20 were rewarded with an adventure of a lifetime: a trip into Africa’s longest-running war. This is the story of a generation discovering that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, but where you go.
EP 3 – Sunday – “Sunday: The Story of a Displaced Child” highlights the story of 15-year-old Sunday. There isn’t a part of Sunday’s life that hasn’t been affected by the conflict in northern Uganda. Orphaned at a young age, he lives in a displacement camp and struggles to survive amid the effects of poverty, disease and malnutrition. With no family left to depend on, he must try and provide for himself. Without enough time to work and go to class, Sunday can’t make the money needed to pay for school fees and is asked to leave class. The war has already taken so much from him now threatens to take the most valuable thing he has left: a future. But a life that has been marked by tragedy is defined by resilience, and despite reasons to lose hope, Sunday perseveres. This is the story of faith that overcomes suffering.
EP 4 – Emmy – “Emmy: The Story of an Orphan” highlights the story of 14-year-old Emmy. Emmy is the fourth born of five children, each from a different father, each killed from different effects of the Lord’s Resistance Army’s (L.R.A.) reign of terror over northern Uganda. One, killed in combat; another died a political prisoner; but Emmy’s dad had a much quieter killer – one that has now turned on his mother, and could possibly take his own life as well- HIV/AIDS. In Uganda, “orphan” is a dirty word. It is highly frowned upon to let your family (no matter how far removed) to suffer. It then becomes the responsibility of the community to ensure that no child becomes invisible. Oftentimes this is a burden, but other times it becomes a surprising source of joy. Viewers watch as 14-year-old Emmy finds his place in the world, through a family bound together by necessity; and as a broken family tree discovers re-growth.
EP 5 – Grace – “Grace: The Story of a Child Mother” highlights the story of Grace. Abducted from her home at 10-years-old and forced to fight as a soldier, Grace was beaten repeatedly for three years. At 13, she was forced to become a sex-slave to a 40-year-old commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army (L.R.A.) After her narrow escape from the bush, with a gunshot wound to the leg, she discovered she was pregnant with the commander’s child. Once rescued, girls like Grace are taken to a rehabilitation center where they are given just three months of psychosocial therapy before they are returned to the family they may or may not have. Returning home will not be easy for Grace. With an absent father, she will live with her uncle, left to care not only for her new child, but for her disabled mother as well. Grace is a child but she is a mother. The idea of Grace is about choosing to forgive when others have done nothing but hurt and let you down. Grace has a smile bigger than the size of her pain. Follow this story of survival and resilience… of a child with a child.
EP 6 – Innocent - “Innocent: The Story of a Night Commuter” highlights the story of Innocent. Like thousands of children, Innocent is not free to sleep at home because he fears being abducted by the rebel army. For 10 years, Innocent’s day has started and ended the same way. He walks rain or shine. He will keep walking until there is peace. He plays for a reason. He dances for a reason. He is studying for a reason. And he works for a reason. He is dreaming for a purpose: To become a leader and end night commuting. One day, he hopes to be president and help end the war in northern Uganda. His name is Innocent and he is an Invisible Child.
EP 7 – Roseline - “Roseline: The Story of an AIDS Victim” highlights the story of Roseline. In northern Uganda the war has been raging for more than 21 years. But for Roseline, the war is not only in her world; it’s in her body. Since the day she was born she has been infected with HIV/AIDS. In Uganda, currently more than 1 million people are infected with the disease. In 2006 alone, AIDS killed more than 91,000 Ugandans. It’s a disease that took the lives of Roseline’s parents, and it threatens to take hers. But when you meet Roseline, you do not meet a victim. You do not meet a child defined by illness. Rather, you meet the infectious laughter and carefree singing of a hopeful girl. This is a story of joy found in the midst of war. This is Roseline’s story.
EP 8 - The Rescue of Joseph Kony’s Child Soldiers – “The Rescue of Joseph Kony’s Child Soldiers” documents the current crisis in central Africa where children are being abducted and forced to fight as child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war. This feature chronicles three young filmmakers’ journey into this conflict, and the quest to end it.
EP 9 – Together We Are Free - On April 15, 2009, thousands gathered around the world to abduct themselves for the abducted at a 100-city, 10-country awareness event called The Rescue. The goal was to demand attention for the plight of children abducted and forced to fight as soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army by getting political and cultural figures to make a public statement on behalf of these child soldiers. In 99 of the 100 cities worldwide, a “Rescuer” answered their call. But for six days, more than 500 participants held strong in the final city – Chicago – awaiting a “Rescuer” of their own. Reinforcements from across the country, known as “Rescue Riders,” assembled upon the city to increase the group’s visibility. Their final stand was a daring effort, as these youth asked one of the world’s most powerful people to add their influence to the crisis. Their cry: “Together We Are Free.” And each of the riders came together under an agreement not to go home until every city was rescued, with the hope that one day soon the children will be rescued, too. This is the story of those brave and dedicated individuals.