Two years ago, 18-year-old Bailey Barnes of South Aiken learned that children were being kidnapped and forced into a brutal rebel military in Uganda. On Saturday, he joined a march and a camp out in West Ashley as part of a coordinated world-wide rescue effort for the unfortunate African youths.
The event, one of many a group called Invisible Children is sponsoring globally this weekend, aims to focus attention on Ugandan rebel cult leader Joseph Kony, Barnes said. Media reports state his army has abducted 20,000 children and forced them into service. The plight of these "invisible children" in a far away continent is being overlooked by Westerners, Bailey said.
Another camper, Linzy Tjader, 23, of Columbia, said she learned of the events from Internet sites and is appalled at the lack of attention given them. "It's something that isn't out into the public," she said.
Susan Rickard, events coordinator for the Charleston-based Invest in Children, said about 110 people were camped near Wallace School Road. For each camp site, local leaders and celebrities were asked to appear and "rescue" the campers.
She said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and U.S. senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint were asked this week to be rescuers, but none appeared.
"We have not found anybody to come and rescue us yet," she said late Saturday. She said some people plan to stay at the campsite until rescued.
For more information see http://nightof.therescue.invisiblechildren.com/.