If you want to fight a warlord in Africa, you might rally the armies of local nations. Or you might smash pumpkins.
At least that’s what Robin Brazier, president of Invisible Children at the University of Mary Washington, did to join the organization’s campaign against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Central Africa.
A senior and geography major, Brazier became interested in Invisible Children as a freshman. Founded in 2004, Invisible Children is a charity and lobbying organization working to bring awareness and an end to the abduction of children into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Central Africa. In 2003, three filmmakers traveled to Africa in search of a story and found that Joseph Kony, leader of the resistance army, was kidnapping and abusing children, forcing them to serve as soldiers in his army.
UMW’s chapter of Invisible Children holds awareness and fundraising events to support the campaign against Kony. The chapter is best known on campus for its annual date auction in February, in which UMW students volunteer to go on a date with the highest bidder.
This November, the chapter hosted a pumpkin sale, offering students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to smash pumpkins.
“Not only were we raising money for Invisible Children’s projects, but we were also spreading awareness about the organization and its work” said Brazier. The chapter raised more than $240 with the assistance of sponsorships from Snead’s Asparagus Farm and UMW Student Activities.
For Brazier, it isn’t just about serving those in need – it’s about a hands-on approach to education.
Brazier was seeking just that when she came to UMW four years ago – and she found it. With four years on UMW’s swim team, two study abroad trips, and four years of involvement in Invisible Children under her belt, Brazier reached senior year as an experienced traveler and athlete.
Following graduation this May, Brazier will continue her pursuit of a global experience with a career in international development.
“A liberal arts education is about developing a well-rounded, global perspective,” said Brazier. “A larger awareness of what’s going on around us is what we’re all about at Mary Washington,” said Brazier.