The awareness campaign by the organization, Invisible Children, known as KONY 2012, has been everywhere. Celebrities tweeting about it, ordinary joes and janes discussing the merits of the viral video associated to the campaign. If you have been in a bubble, avoiding the media, search it out to see what I mean.
I am not here to argue about the video. In fact, I haven’t seen and probably won’t. The reason I’m not watching the video is that I have been aware of Joseph Kony and his despicable organization, the Lord’s Resistance Army since the mid 1990s when I lived in Kenya, having also visited southern Uganda during that year in Africa.
I considered my options to visit the Sudanese refugee camps in Gulu, the heart of rebel-held territory. I had friends travel there on Christian mission purposes and had I travelled with them that would have been my intent.
Returning to 2012, I probably would not have weighed in on the campaign had I not read Amy Courts’ take on the situation. Read it here.
Reasons I believe KONY 2012 matters
1. Joseph Kony is a very bad man. He needs to be captured and brought before the International Criminal Court. Read the arrest warrant here. I’m not an expert on the subject of capturing criminals, so I won’t venture to suggest how its needs to be done.
2. Child soldiers, past and present, need help and assistance. Check out War Child to learn more. Children should not be used as instruments of war. They should be allowed to be children, able to play and learn freely.
3. People are talking about it. For better or worse, North Americans are talking about the issues raised by the KONY 2012 video. If 1 in 10 YouTube viewers takes the time to research the issue beyond watching the video, that would be more than 8 million who have equipped themselves with the knowledge to take action.
My request is that you don’t attack friends and colleagues for their participation or even lack thereof. We also have our own ways of participating in action and advocacy, created by awareness of situations like this.
Awareness is simply awareness. Awareness dictates some form of action. If action for you means supporting Invisible Children, then do it. If it means finding another organization to support, then do it. If it means going to Northern Uganda to work with the former child soldiers, then do it. If awareness of this situation drives you to action for another cause, then do it.
What are some ways you’re participating to make the world a better place?