Students ‘Cover the Night’ to raise awareness of Kony on campus

After the Invisible Children video went viral this February, people across the nation have decided to take action against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, which, the video alleges, abducts children in Uganda for use as soldiers and sex slaves.

Filmmakers Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey and Laren Poole, creators of the nonprofit organization, created the video to bring awareness about Kony. Their mission is to end the violence, improve education establishments in Africa and build an alert system for counter-resistance.

Inspired by the video, students at the University, along with other groups across the country, are planning to “Cover the Night,” as the event is called, and put up 1 million posters, signs and stickers to raise awareness. University students can expect to see the results of this movement at the Undergraduate Library, Illini Union, Allen Hall, Ikenberry Commons, Illinois Street Residence Hall and the Alma Mater on Saturday morning.

“I’m hoping that the event will open the campus and have big enough coverage of the campaign where more people will be willing to join the revamping of Kony 2012,” said Katerina Bolos, president and founder of the University’s Invisible Children chapter and sophomore in LAS. “The event is to show that this is something very important and won’t fade away any time soon.”

TemiTayo O Ade-Oshifogun, junior in Engineering, said he also has high hopes about the campaign and believes that this is the right way to go about bringing Kony to justice.

“It starts with a cause and many people to support it, and somebody will notice the effort,” he said. “It will take a mass effort of people to make a difference, and a bigger effort from America and the Invisible Children to target a higher power in the government for significant support.”

O Ade-Oshifogun hopes the University chapter will continue to contribute to the worldwide efforts to arrest Kony by 2013.

“I think the Kony 2012 campaign is very important … although it took some time, I am proud to see the Invisible Children group stands up for what they believe in and gather strong support quickly,” he said.

Bolos said she’s been working with the international Invisible Children’s group for three years. After attending the Fourth Estate Conference, a leadership conference, in August 2011, she was inspired to begin a chapter for campus. Bolos said its main goals are to spread awareness of the war in central Africa and to fundraise for Invisible Children.

She said she has no doubt that Kony will be arrested by the end of the year, but until then the international community needs to contribute to the movement.

After Cover the Night, Bolos said she hopes to see more involvement within her organization.

“I want people to show up to the meetings and stay proactive about the campaign, instead of just showing interest without taking action,” she said.

In a speech regarding the movement from his 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama encouraged Americans to get involved.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time,” Obama said. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”