By Lillie Shaw
Everyone hopes for the well-being of people in poor countries, but the Generations4Change club at Downingtown West High School (DWHS) has turned these hopes into actions. Generations4Change raises funds for many charities, such as the Invisible Children organization.
After raising $100,000 in 2007, Generations4Change was chosen by Invisible Children to send one teacher and two students to Uganda. Downingtown West High School was made a legacy school by Invisible Children. They were also recognized by the DASD (Downingtown Are School District) school board for outstanding club service. Over the next three years, they sent one student each year to Uganda. During their visit, they would stay in the city of Gulu and visit refugee camps, HIV/AIDS orphanages, and assist with seven or eight high school rebuilding projects. They were given a “Recognition of Service” from the Pennsylvania State Senate in Harrisburg, PA. In addition to their work in Uganda, Generations4Change also had some of their students attend Invisible Children events in Washington DC, Chicago, and San Diego. Lobbying on Capitol Hill was one of the many events these students participated in.
Run by Jamie Petrilli, an English teacher at Downingtown West, the Generations4Change club meets weekly in the school. The organization was originally called “Generation for Africa,” but the name changed to Generations4Change when they began to branch out and raise money for local and national charities. They have many events planned throughout the year, and strive to spread global and local awareness, and provide education to students.
The founders of Invisible Children are currently working with different charities in Africa. Most of their work is no longer dedicated towards education and fund raising in America, but they still have a charity here in the United States. Invisible Children is working with the government in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to catch the rebel leader, Joseph Kony.
Generations4Change has helped many people in Africa, and hopefully will continue to do so for a while. Fortunately, they have been recognized for their outstanding work and care for the people who need it most.