This past Saturday, Jan. 5, the Amity chapter of the Junior State of America hosted an informational event on the Invisible Children Organization. This event, held from 1 to 5 p.m., was free, with the purpose of better informing our community on the plight of many in Africa and what we can do to help.

Both Amity students and students from nearby schools, plus some local residents attended, where they saw "Invisible Children: Rough Cut," the movie which started the movement and had an Invisible Children representative hold a discussion about the group and what it does. The group also discussed possible fundraising projects that can be undertaken at Amity and other Connecticut school, some of which may run at Amity in the future.

Invisible Children is a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to improve "the quality of life for war-affected children by providing access to quality education, enhanced learning environments, and innovative economic opportunities for the community." The movement started in 2003, when Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey and Laren Poole, three Southern Californian filmmakers all in their early 20s, journeyed to Africa in search of a story. They ended up in Uganda, where they filmed a documentary that exposes the horrific truth behind the night commuters and child soldiers in northern Uganda.

Their story search led them to the creation of a moving film which has now been seen by millions of people and has sparked an organization that has been a huge help to the African people. This is not simply a fundraising group: it consists of a teacher exchange program, where teachers volunteer to teach in Uganda, a scholarship program to give deserving African students the funds to pursue a proper education, an internship for people who want to either work in Uganda or spread the word at home, and a bracelet campaign, made up of bracelets handmade in Uganda then shipped to the United States, where they are packaged and sold with a short film about a child affected by the war.

If you want more information on Invisible Children, you can visit their Web site at Here you can get more details on the above mentioned programs, shop for Invisible Children merchandise, or donate directly to the cause.

Erin Beaulieu is a student at Amity High School