The beginning A friendship became a responsibility

In 2003, three young filmmakers named Jason, Bobby and Laren traveled to East Africa in search of a story. And they found much more than that. They discovered a war in Uganda that had been going on for 20 years where a brutal warlord named Joseph Kony and his rebel army, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), were abducting children and forcing them to become soldiers.

They became friends with Jacob, a boy who had escaped the LRA. He was mourning the loss of his brother - who had been murdered by the group - and feared for his own life. They promised Jacob that they would do everything they could to stop Kony and end the war. So they made the first of many films that would spread the word about the war nobody knew about.

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The conflict We discovered the unseen

Joseph Kony kidnaps children from their homes and makes them his soldiers. He forces many to murder their own families and commits brutal acts of mutilation to instill fear in local populations. He’s gotten away with it for almost three decades, abducting over 30,000 children, and is currently responsible for the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in central Africa.

In 2003, Jan Egeland (at the time, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator) called the LRA conflict “the biggest forgotten, neglected humanitarian emergency in the world.” True that.

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The mission A responsibility became a movement

We made film after film exposing different faces and facets of the LRA conflict and we hit the road to share these films with everyone we could. This was the origin of our ‘Roadie’ model, through which passionate young people would volunteer their time to travel across the U.S., screening our films, sharing their personal stories, and asking people to join the mission with their time, talent, and money.

But we had to go beyond simply telling the story and started doing what we could to support communities who had suffered at the hands of the LRA. With our partners in northern Uganda, we started the Legacy Scholarship Program so that motivated students who had been affected by the war could be given access to secondary education and fulfill their potential despite all of the challenges they have faced. With those in-country partners, we also established Schools for Schools, through which thousands of North American students fundraised to support the rehabilitation of schools in northern Uganda that LRA conflict had destroyed. While investing in these recovery programs, we also recognized the need to up the ante and call on influential leaders around the world to use their positions of power to help finally end what had become Africa’s longest-running armed conflict.

Our work

Speaking out What we've accomplished

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We put on our political hats We became activists

Bills Invisible Children has signed into law

2 Bills Signed into law

Our activists were key to success of The LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act (2010), which was the most widely supported Africa-related piece of legislation on record in U.S. history, and the Rewards for Justice expansion legislation, passed in 2013.

Partners Invisible Children has worked with

Partners Best in the business

We work closely with civil society partners in LRA-affected areas, as well as advocacy groups like The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative and The Enough Project in Washington, DC. We continue to achieved much more together than we could alone.

Invisible Children has facilitated 926 lobby meetings

1077 Lobby Meetings facilitated

Since 2008, thousands of young activists have met in person with their representatives to tell them about the LRA conflict, and urge them to respond. This dedication has put the LRA on the agenda of world leaders like never before.

Signed pledge cards to protect communities in central and East Africa

3.7 million signed pledge cards

We’ve written letters, held meetings on Capitol Hill, marched, slept in the streets, as well as signing pledges - all to convince our government leaders to use their power to support peace and justice for vulnerable communities in central and East Africa.

We went viral And set the world on fire

Kony 2012

The KONY 2012 campaign started as an experiment. Could an online video make an obscure war criminal famous? And if he was famous, would the world work together to stop him? The experiment yielded the fastest growing viral video of all time. The KONY 2012 film reached 100 million views in 6 days, and 3.7 million people pledged their support for efforts to arrest Joseph Kony.

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Protecting communities We developed life-saving programs Our recovery programs flourished in the post-conflict region, and in 2011, the LRA experts on our team started working on protection initiatives. We went to the front lines of the war to implement innovative programs that would prevent LRA attacks, protect vulnerable communities, and dismantle the LRA from within.

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LRA Crisis Tracker

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Early Warning Radio Network

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‘Come Home’ Defection Messaging

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Community Defection Committees

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Grassroots Advocacy

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Our team It’s more than a job The members of our team are diverse but united by the mission of stopping the LRA. From San Diego to DC to Kampala to Obo, meet the minds behind the movement and the power behind the programs.