Kony2012: you can help save a child!
Until this week, a little known organization in San Diego, California called Invisible Children operated well below the radar. Then the unthinkable happened. The founders created a 30-minute video about their cause and it resulted in 50 million views in its first five days on YouTube in March, 2012.
This is the story of a warlord in Uganda who has been waging a war on children for the past 26 years. Joseph Kony heads up the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a brutal militia estimated at one time in the thousands but today at only 250 fighters. They have kidnapped thousands of children, turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers forced to kill their own families. Kony’s reign of terror has gone unnoticed by most of the world. Until now.
Jason Russell is the co-founder of Invisible Children, an anti-LRA advocacy group. Their goal is to see Kony captured and brought to justice in 2012. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Kony in 2005 for crimes against humanity. Russell believes that the power of social media can bring about his apprehension. In 2011, one hundred U.S. Special Forces soldiers were deployed to four African countries to help advise in the fight against Kony.
Similar to the effect of social media during the Arab Spring in 2011, Kony2012 has caught the attention of celebrities who have millions of followers. Oprah, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and P. Diddy have alerted their fans to this cause. “Have supported with $’s and voice and will not stop” tweeted Oprah.
Joseph Kony sought to overthrow the Ugandan government in the 1980s and was evicted from the country. His militia has terrorized villages in South Sudan, the Congo and Central African Republic. Victims faces are mutilated with machetes, women are raped and killed and young girls are forced into sexual slavery. Flashes of the brutality are included in the video. Although our attention span is limited to several minutes in most situations, this video is the fastest thirty minutes you’ll ever experience.
Kony2012 is planning a national event on April 20, 2012 where everyone is encouraged to post photos of Kony in public places. Take a look at their website for information.
How about doing a “Kony” on bullying. Think of the results if every school in the country initiated a campaign against bullying with posters, discussions, kiosks with information, Q&A sessions and anything else you can think of.