Every night, tens of thousands of children in Northern Uganda walk to nearby cities and sleep outside in order to protect themselves from abduction. For over twenty years, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been terrorizing Northern Uganda. Part of their strategy is to abduct children, force them to kill others or else be killed, and thereby desensitize them and turn them into brutal soldiers. An estimated 20,000-50,000 children have suffered this fate. Quite possibly the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, this war has caused 1.7 million people to be forcibly displaced and 130 people continue to die per day in Northern Uganda, due to violence.
Desiring to identify with these children and to stop the war in Northern Uganda, I joined 6,000 people in Balboa Park for the Global Night Commute. This event was organized by Invisible Children, a non-profit organization that is working to communicate the desperate plight of these people to the world. The event was challenging, thought provoking and inspiring. Every one present was given paper to write a letter to the President and our state senators. We also made artwork express our thoughts and feelings about this issue. After writing the letters, we gathered for pictures and then spent the night hanging out and sleeping in the park. It was a night that I won’t soon forget and soon I hope that it will be a night that the world won’t forget!