I could not believe American media outlets were not reporting on this conflict, which had been happening for decades, and that my teachers had never brought up this issue in any of my social science classes. Invisible Children caught hold of me in the best way possible and not only explained the situation in Central Africa, but also provided an avenue for me and other students across America to advocate for an end to this war.
Even after fundraising for Invisible Children throughout high school and college, I still felt I could do more for the vulnerable civilians in Central Africa. The opportunity came through an internship which was required as a part of my social work program through the University of Arkansas. I was hired as the Book Drive Intern for Invisible Children. This internship has been one of the best experiences of my life. I can leave the office each day knowing that I was an integral part of the effort to protect innocent civilians and to provide recovery to this war-torn region.
One of Invisible Children’s fundraising initiatives involves book drives, which are made possible through our partnership with Better World Books. Invisible Children asks their supporters to collect books at high schools and university campuses, which in turn are sent to Better World Books and sold online. A portion of the sale from these book drives are donated back to Invisible Children. Book drives are an easy way for students to support Invisible Children’s mission and make use of textbooks that their bookstores would not buy back. I am so passionate about Invisible Children books drives because I see firsthand how the financial support brought in by these book drives helps to fund programs that are not only saving lives, but are also creating sustainable change in conflict-ridden countries.
Our projects and programs are implemented throughout Central Africa including Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan.Our Legacy Scholarship Program provides a scholarship and a mentor for over 750 students in secondary school and university. Our Schools for Schools program benefits 11 partner schools in northern Uganda with hardware projects like building renovations and software projects that include teacher capacity workshops and curriculum development. Through book drives and online book sales, Better World Books as raised over $385 thousand for these initiatives.
The Functional Adult Literacy initiative currently has 50 groups of 20-25 focusing on numeracy, writing, and reading in their local language. This program is strengthened through Better World Books’ Literacy and Education in Action Program (LEAP), a grant initiative which funds programs all over the world. Better World Books also supports our Teacher Exchange program which enhances present educational models, and establishes long-term learning opportunities for both international and Ugandan teachers.
Finally, our newest initiative, the Protection Plan, promotes the protection of communities in LRA-affected areas (DR Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan) through the implementation of an Early Warning Radio Network, the encouragement of LRA defection through FM radio broadcasts, the posting of defection fliers in LRA active areas, and the creation of the first rehabilitation center in the Democratic Republic of Congo for LRA affected youth.
*Note* The below blog post is a guest blog from our friend Sarah, the Book Drive Intern for our partners at Invisible Children. This content does not necessarily reflect the views of Better World Books (as our lawyers make sure we say). We love having guest bloggers and invite you to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in covering a book or topic on the BWB Blog. Thank you, Sarah!
Sarah reacted in an amazing way when she heard about the travesty happening in Central Africa. What are your thoughts on how you can make a difference for the child soldiers and their communities? Have you read any inspiring books about this issue? Please share…