Hanging with Condemned Men

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Luzira Prison

When I was in Uganda in 2009, I spent some time with several men on death row at the Luzira Maximum Security Prison inKampala, Uganda. The inmates are referred to as “condemned men”. As we went through all the security points and the long walks through various hallways and doors, we finally arrived to the waiting room outside the courtyard. Through the bars we could see the men – all dressed in white uniforms of shirts, shorts, and sandals. The all-white uniforms stood in stark contrast to brown skin.

They spotted us easily and were curious as to why five white women were preparing to enter the area where they freely roamed. As we talked among ourselves about our curiosity and fears about what was going to happen next, I wondered what they were talking about. It had one of those “first-day-of-camp” feelings where groups are sizing each other up, unsure of each other and what the experience will bring.

I soon learned that we were going to “fellowship” with them which means we were going to have a worship gathering together. I learned that worship together in Uganda was often referred to as “fellowship”. Sounded great.

We entered the secure courtyard and the sea of men parted like the Red Sea. We crossed through exchanging smiles and glances with the prisoners. It was strange to think that we were walking through the center of 60-70 condemned men with our two guides and one or two guards. Nothing like I would imagine death row to be in the states.

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Invisible Children Responds to Your Questions

Thank you, KONY 2012 Supporters from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey answers some of the questions about Invisible Children that have been raised in the wake of KONY 2012’s viral success.

It includes an explanation of Invisible Children’s unique development model and the philosophy behind the allocation of its money. Ben also breaks down the organization’s financial expenses including travel/transportation expenses, production costs, and management/general expenses. In addition, he explains the purpose and goals of KONY 2012–in both the short and long terms.

If you have any additional questions, please tweet them to us @invisible with the hashtag #AskICAnything, and we will do our best to answer your questions. Stay tuned for instructions on how to turn your awareness into action.

Reflections on KONY 2012

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that I am a supporter of Invisible Children. You’ve been barraged by updates and tweets this week as we prepared to host the IC roadies at our church and as the latest video went viral and discussions/criticisms ensued.

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I’ve been an advocate of Invisible Children since 2006 – showing movies and films, sharing their materials, purchasing their products (shirts, bracelets, MEND bags, etc) and coordinating local events with the Invisible Children roadies. I’ve written letters, made phone calls, and have attended lobby meetings with my elected officials concerning this issue. I say all that to say that I’m not new to this group and I’ve chosen to invest a lot of time and money in their work in Uganda and then in the Congo, Southern Sudan and Central African Republic.

On Tuesday and Wednesday after the video went viral and the dream came true of people KNOWING  and CARING about what was happening in this region of the world after all this time, I was in a state of elated shock and prone to tears. The stories of these beautiful children and people of Uganda, Congo, CAR and South Sudan were being heard.  They deserve to be heard. For nearly six years, I’ve wanted the world to take notice and finally, the world did – and in a huge way. 

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