Monday, November 28, 2011

INVISIBLE CHILDREN

Sometimes I worry about The Professor.  He inherited both his parents' tendencies to be introverted and antisocial.  He often views the world and its inhabitants with disgust.  He's known for his occasional misanthropic ramblings, especially when he hears of a person abusing animals or destroying the environment.  Then there are the moments when my heart swells with pride and I think I might not be raising a sociopath after all.  One of those moments came a few weeks ago when The Professor saw a program at school by the group Invisible Children.

For the past year, The Professor has talked about wanting to go to Africa some day and dreamily described the beautiful landscape.  The Invisible Children program shook him.  He learned of Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army who are trying to overthrow the government in Uganda.  To that end, they have abducted children, turning them into soldiers, and killed thousands of civilians.  In 2001 they were officially declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. Patriot Act.  The Professor explained to me his distress saying, "I thought Africa was this perfect place."  It broke my heart that the poor kid had his illusion shattered, especially since it was surprising to me that the illusion still existed for him at age 12.

He decided to set up a fundraising page on the Invisible Children website and set a goal of getting $150 in donations.  I thought that was a little ambitious, but he was determined.  Thanks to the generosity of family and friends, he blew past that milestone and raised $200 in just a couple of weeks.  This past weekend he received a large envelope in the mail from Invisible Children.  Inside was a certificate congratulating him on becoming a member of "The Benjamins Club", someone who has raised more than $100.  In addition there was a lovely reed bracelet from Africa, which now sits proudly on top of his desk in his room.  (Other bracelets and their stories can be seen here.)

Please take a moment and read the story of the war in Uganda and its effect on children here.  And if you feel inclined, please make a donation through The Professor's fundraising page below.  This kind of children-helping-children attitude gives me hope for the future.


7 comments:

Alison said...

I'll definitely be contributing, Shannon. The LRA is so evil it's not funny. Africa is a beautiful continent in need of all the support we can give it. Count me in!

lillianscupboard said...

I'm so glad that Josh was able to raise this much money for such a good cause.

Marcy said...

How great of him to get involved in doing something to help.

Alice said...

Way to go Josh!

Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty said...

This is so wonderful. It shows you're never too young to make an impact.

By the way I was wondering, "Who is this professor?" LOL then I kept reading :-)

Nancy Susanna Breen said...

Yay for The Professor! As long as he's willing to invest time and trouble in helping people, he'll never be a total misanthrope.

Corinne said...

Bravo to the Prof for this effort!