Have you heard of Joseph Kony? How about the Lord’s Resistance Army? Surely, you’ve at least heard of a country in Africa called Uganda. While much of Uganda exists in relative safety (for the last eight years my family has sponsored a boy there and he has never been in danger), Joseph Kony and his LRA have, over the past 26 years, kidnapped over 30,000 children and turned the boys into soldiers and the girls into sex slaves. He has been indicted by the International Criminal Court and is number one on their list of most wanted war criminals. He is evil.
KONY 2012, a campaign created by Invisible Children, aims to end Kony’s reign of terror by using the power of social media to raise worldwide awareness. Awareness that will lead to action. Action that will pressure governments worldwide to insist on and assist in Kony’s arrest.
May God bless their efforts. And may we all, at the very least, spread the word.
Update, 3/8/2012: Since the Kony 2012 video launch on Monday (three days ago as of this update), it was been viewed over 26 million times. The NGO non-profit behind it, Invisible Children, however, has come under criticism for many things: the fact that Kony is no longer headquartered in Uganda, that the video ignores the extremely poor human rights record of the current Ugandan government, and how much money actually goes to help Ugandans, among other things. I am not going to clarify these issues of pass judgment at this time. But I do encourage you to educate yourself on the issue, perhaps starting with this Reality Check column for The Guardian UK’s Polly Curtis. And if you really want to help kids in Uganda, I suggest sponsoring a child through an organization with bona fide credentials like Compassion. Trust me, it’s a good thing.