Sunday, April 26, 2009

Las Vegas march to save children in Africa

The plight of children half a world away took center stage for people in the valley on Saturday.

Members and supporters of a non-profit group known as "Invisible Children" marched from the Stratosphere to Hertitage park to make their message clear.

They're trying to spread awareness, gain support and use their voices for change.

About 150 signed up for the event, mostly teens, giving up what they call the comforts of home to symbolize all of the children in Africa who are being forced into a Ugandan civil war.

Alot of outrage and alot of compassion culminating together for all of the youth being abducted and forced into violence.

"They were forced against their will, and it made me appreciate what I have even more. To see the children deprived of a regular life, it's really sad to see the hurt that they've gone through," said Amanda Walters, a student at Seville Middle School.

Walters says she never knew about this widespread suffering for children in Africa, until she saw a video at school. That's when she knew she had to get involved.

It wasn't just Las Vegans joining in on the march. Tourists who were around for other reasons also got word of the event.

"They're having to murder other people, not something they want to do. No one is speaking out for them. We need to speak out for the children," said Jennifer Drake, who was visiting from Fresno for a wedding.

Drake brought her 12-year-old son along, who is suffering from diabetes. She thought it was important for him to see that other childrens' struggles are worse than his own.

Organizers of the event said they planned on spending the night outside in sleeping bags at Hertiage Park.

What they're hoping for is a brief appearance from a local politican or celebrity to help speak out for the cause.

They say, if that doesn't happen, they plan to take their march to the front steps of City Hall until somebody recognizes.

Stay tuned to Channel 13.

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