By using the power of story, Mobile Cinema has already proven to be an incredibly successful sensitization and informational tool, conveying to LRA-affected communities that defection, reintegration, and forgiveness are essential to ending the LRA conflict peacefully.
Community sensitization means sensitizing, or preparing, individuals and the community to the idea of accepting LRA defectors into their village. Particularly in isolated regions, where information about the LRA is limited, civilians can be entirely unaware that the LRA is largely comprised of fighters who were abducted as children and are looking for opportunities to escape and return to their homes. Furthermore, because all the communities have experienced some level of LRA violence, sensitization helps bridge the gap between fear and forgiveness.
Invisible Children partnered with DTJ who had used mobile cinema for trauma therapy and sensitization in LRA-affected communities in the past. Using a projector and a large inflatable screen, a community group shows this film that details the life of a child who is abducted into the LRA and the difficult process he must go through to defect. This event also includes an in-depth workshop to unpack and discuss the themes and characters portrayed in the film – to take the lesson outside of the film and make it applicable to the community members’s lives.
A resident of Djabir, DRC, who attended a Mobile Cinema screening shared the following:
“I think that seeing the LRA coming out of the bush and defecting in the film — we must have the heart and the will to accept and welcome the LRA like in the film. It wasn’t just the film but in the training too — they taught us to accept the LRA. Before the training I would have never accepted the LRA if they came out, because I only thought about what the LRA did. But now, after the training I have changed my mind — and now I understand that accepting the LRA will bring peace.”