Invisible Children showing leads to increased membership

October 4, 2010 — by Anoop Galivanche

Children who couldn’t possibly be older than 7, thin and sickly, carry powerful machine guns that are almost as tall as themselves. Some have scars that span the length of their arms, while others’ faces are horribly disfigured from wounds inflicted by machetes used to chop think forest brush. This is only one of many gut-wrenching images in a documentary that was shown by the Invisible Children club on Sept. 13 in the cafeteria.

The showing of the 2003 documentary, which follows three budding filmmakers on a soul-searching journey to Uganda to learn more about the injustices occurring there, attracted almost 40 people.

“Our purpose for the screening is to get people exposed to what Invisible Children is before Club Day so that when Club Day comes around, they’ll want to join it,” said senior Emily Hsia, co-president of the club. “It’s pretty effective.”

Indeed, students who attended the movie said that it compelled them to do something about the poverty and violence in Uganda. Nearly everyone at the screening joined the club on the spot.

“The hardships that the kids in the movie faced are just unfathomable,” said sophomore Neil Prasad. “I felt like I had to do something.”

This year, the event did not require as much planning as it had in the past. “It wasn’t as much planning as some of the other events we have and will run, but we still take it seriously because this is how we get most of our members to join,” said Hsia.

Hsia and her co-president, senior Arianna Paranzino, plan to expand the club this year to include more events.

“Last year, we [planned a dance] at the community center for Redwood students. We’ll see if that will happen again this year,” Hsia said.

The club also plans to more aggressively pursue members this year, so that it will be able to participate in a nationwide competition facilitated by the Invisible Children organization called

“Schools for Schools.” The competition assigns a group of schools in the U.S. to a Ugandan school. The school that raises the most money for its assigned Ugandan school wins that round of the competition. Saratoga High’s school is the Keyo Secondary School in the Amaru district.

“It’s not necessarily about whether or not we win the competition,” said Hsia. “It’s more important that we get together as a school, and help schools that aren’t as fortunate. I think that the showing of the documentary was the first step in mobilizing the student body to do just that.”