by AUDrey | March 10, 2012
[Note: this is a opinion piece and does not reflect or represent the views of the LCA Crew.]
If you have a Facebook, Twitter, or any connection to the outside world, it’s likely “Kony2012″ has been blowing up your newsfeed lately. Straying slightly from global health today, I wanted to discuss Invisible Children and the Kony 2012 movement, which has come into the spotlight recently.
Since three filmmakers (Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey, and Laren Poole) first traveled to Uganda in 2003, they have been determined to help stop the rebel leader Joseph Kony’s brutal tactics and the use of children as soldiers. Mr. Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army is one of Africa’s most murderous militia groups and its atrocities have continued for 25 years with the world paying little attention.
Kony is being indicted for 33 counts: 12 counts are crimes against humanity, including murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement, and rape. Another 21 counts of war crimes include murder, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlisting of children into the rebel ranks.
It was just this week that Mr. Kony’s become recognizable by most Americans, thanks to the documentary film. It has gotten more than 40 million views on YouTube and more than 13 million on Vimeo since it was launched, not to mention it’s name has been dropped on Facebook and Twitter tens of thousands of times.
But Kony 2012 and Invisible Children have gotten a lot of backlash since the video launched due to things like murky finances (less than 1/3 of their budget actually goes to actual charitable services) and strategy (funding the Ugandan army).
In my opinion, even with all the criticisms of the campaign, Invisible Children managed to get Kony’s name out and advancing the ultimate purpose of the campaign: to arrest Kony for his crimes against humanity by the end of the year.
So even if Kony 2012 and Invisible Children put as much money into their documentaries as they do their direct charitable work, it will have fulfilled its purpose if it gets Kony arrested.
You can watch the Kony 2012 video here.
One thing is for certain – we at LCA will continue to increase transparency in regards to what we do and what goes on behind the scenes. As we achieve further growth with your support, we’ll make sure positive and tangible social impact is being made to help those in need.
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