December 6, 2013
Seeing the Invisible Children
Caitlin Marr '14 works as part of a resistance against one of Africa’s longest running armed conflicts. As human resources intern at Invisible Children, Marr contributes to the efforts of an organization that frees abducted soldiers, and rescues women and children hostages, in order to dismantle the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA.
The LRA is a militant movement that has waged war in Africa for nearly 30 years, kidnapping and killing innocent civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Hundreds of thousands of victims have been displaced from their homes, and hundreds are still being held captive today.
Based in San Diego, Calif., Invisible Children is a non-profit that confronts the LRA by dismantling its army from within, freeing abducted soldiers that have been forced to adhere to the LRA’s ruthless leaders, and safely returning hostages to their homes. Invisible Children has been successful in its four-pronged method: media documentation and awareness, mobilization of support groups, protection from future attacks, and recovery implementation for victims.
Marr has long supported Invisible Children and jumped at the opportunity when offered a position as human resources intern. “I knew it would be a great learning opportunity, a great professional development opportunity, and a great chance to support a cause that I'm dedicated to.”
Marr’s internship role includes recruiting, scheduling interviews and influencing decisions surrounding new hires. She makes calls, answers emails, attends job fairs, and plans office parties, among other responsibilities.
“Recently we launched our newest campaign, #zeroLRA, which is a huge fundraising-focused campaign working toward bringing home abducted soldiers, providing rehabilitation to those affected by the violence, and finally bringing a complete end to the conflict in central and east Africa. We are looking to raise $3 million by the end of the year, which is a gigantic amount, so all hands are on deck for getting our supporters pumped up and helping reach our goal.”
Marr has her own fundraising page with a goal of raising $20,000, which would fund the building of a radio tower that would allow remote villages to tune into Invisible Children’s early warning radio network, alerting listeners of nearby LRA sightings and attacks.
Marr has taken time away from school to pursue this passion, but plans to return to Houghton to complete her degree in communication/integrated marketing. Her time away has been both refreshing and clarifying, as she has discovered a niche in working for a non-profit like Invisible Children. She holds close to heart the values already acquired as a Houghton student.
“A big way that Houghton has prepared me for this experience is by growing and cultivating my global mindset and passion for social justice,” Marr says. “These are things that I know God has placed on my heart, so being at Houghton has allowed me to really dig into them and find my calling.”
To help raise awareness, get involved, or give a donation to Invisible Children, visit Caitlin Marr’s fundraising page by clicking: give.invisiblechildren.com/caitlinmarrHR