By Maiya Keidan
Members of the group Invisible Children were standing in the first floor of the Podium building last Friday in front of posters full of information and gory photographs.
“Sorry, I can’t stomach it,” said a woman walking past.
“Invisible Children: Rough Cuts,” is a film which follows three filmmakers who go to Uganda and discover the victims of one of the country’s longest running wars between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Invisible Children is a non-profit organization that took its title from a documentary.
Ryerson is currently home to a chapter of the group that started in the U.S. Students are not only taking notice of the ads around campus but the organization’s strong dedication to the films and other projects.
So far there is no branch of Invisible Children in Toronto. The group has no leaders and hold meetings unofficially over drinks. They’re hoping this will soon change thanks to the success of the Ryerson chapter.
The chapter will focus on the ‘Schools for Schools’ campaign which offers support to a partner school, Keyo Secondary, located in Northern Uganda.
On Tuesday night, the organization presented their newest documentary, “Go!”, about the school campaign, with hopes of inspiring Ryerson students to get involved.
Julia Perron, who is in her second-year of social work, is an active member of Ryerson’s chapter.
She recalled how some American members from the Invisible Children organization came to observe one of their meetings.
“They were so impressed,” said Perron. “They were video taping us and they just couldn’t get over how organized and involved we were.”
Perron strongly believes Ryerson students can and will take the initiative to create the first Toronto branch of Invisible Children.
“It’s a huge opportunity for students to open a chapter in Toronto when there are none in Canada,” she said.
“Go!” was created when 20 student activists were rewarded for their duties to the program by travelling to Northern Uganda, after being a part of a nation-wide project last year to raise $1 million in 100 days.
Jeffrey Perera, second-year social work student and member, believes that although a truce was signed in August 2006, the peace is still on shaky grounds.
Perera wants the movie to inspire and empower Ryerson students to act. “There a lot of diverse people on campus,” said Perera.
“I think this group is an exciting opportunity to help create change.”