Who is Joseph Kony?

Some of us are parents. Even if you aren’t, imagine what it would be like to tuck your child into bed at night only to wake up the next day and discover that in the middle of the night, they were stolen from their warm bed and forced to join a guerrilla army in which they kill, mutilate and are sold into sexual slavery. In America, something like this wouldn’t last a year, month even. Immediate action would be taken to protect American children. In Africa however, these scenarios have been replaying over and over again for almost 30 years.

I rarely get political on the blog, but it’s been awhile since I’ve felt so moved and passionate about a cause and after watching the video last night and bawling my eyes out, felt compelled to share in an effort to spread awareness.

Watch the video below. Get to know who Joseph Kony is and let’s make him famous & bring him to justice.


“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

23 Comments

  1. B says:

    You may want to read this article:
    http://thedailywh.at/2012/03/07/on-kony-2012-2/

    It’s probably not a good idea to tout a political cause before looking into all the facts and using some critical thinking.

    • Liz says:

      It’s probably not a good idea to assume I haven’t already done so, thank you very much. I am aware of the “visible children” stance. I am aware the Ugandan military has it’s own set of problems that need to be addressed. I’m aware there are flaws in IC’s dealings with finances, etc. I’m also aware that there are two sides to every story and I’m merely choosing the side which I feel will have greater success in doing what this is all about anyway–capturing Kony, who I believe poses a for more serious current threat.

  2. Shereen says:

    So awesome that you posted this.

  3. Katie says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that Joseph Kony is a bad person, but this video (and the organization that created it) is a lot more complicated than meets the eye. In order to help you spread awareness, I recommend you read this blog post that explains why Invisible Children’s methods may not be the best solution to this heartbreaking problem. http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/

    • Liz says:

      As long as awareness is what’s being spread I will support this cause. Talk to me when the Visible Children come up with some solutions instead of focusing on the validity of an organization doing just that.

  4. Adeline says:

    Thanks for sharing Liz. Signing up for the Action Kit right now.
    You might be interested in this as well:
    http://www.ladycroissant.com/2012/02/be-whistleblower-for-peace.html
    xxxxx

  5. Caitlin says:

    You’ll probably get a few comments like that first one you got–I’m torn with this issue because I think bringing awareness to this is important, even if the organization that created it is a little sketchy financially. I won’t be donating money to them (since only 32% of their funds go to direct services) but bringing light to Kony’s atrocities, I think, really can help.

    • Liz says:

      I totally see what the other side is saying, but I feel like that isn’t what the focus should be on :/ At least IC is doing SOMETHING to raise awareness as opposed to VC which exists soley to say IC is “sketchy.” That’s what I don’t get. It’s not like IC is taking all the charity money and giving it to Kony. I’m sure it gets expensive flying to Africa all the time and filming movies. But if it’s to serve a purpose? Then I truly believe the ends justify the means.

      If VC wants something to complain about how about they put Playboy on blast for paying Lindsay Lohan a million dollars to spread her legs. Now, THAT’S a disgrace.

      • becca wikler says:

        The article your first commenter linked to points to other organizations that have a better track record than IC, if that helps.

      • Caitlin says:

        I agree with you. The goal, which they even state, is to make the world aware of men like Kony. IC may be kind of sketchy in their dealings or they may not, but the people responding here today didn’t know that Kony existed until that video came out, simple as that.

        I hope they will be successful, and I hope African countries like Uganda will work to fix the systemic problems that allow a man like him to rise to prominence. Problem is, with how it is now in countries like Uganda/the Sudan, once he dies there will be someone else to take his place unless the infrastructure itself is dismantled. And I think that’s something that only those countries can accomplish.

        I’m rambling, but basically, I don’t think it was a bad idea to make this video viral. it got Americans thinking, and it’s far too common for us as Americans (and I include myself) to put our blinders on. So, thanks friend, for getting this message out. :)

  6. Amy says:

    YES! My husband actually coded the Kony 2012 website, so to see the bloggers posting it and spreading the word is amazing. THANK YOU for joining in and helping in the effort! <3

  7. YES! Spread the word!! :) Love it!

  8. Julia says:

    Spreading knowledge and awareness about this atrocity and horrible man = good

    Lying about the facts (what IC is doing) = bad

    Getting youth involved and angry about the injustices in this world = good

    Propping up an army in the country that USED to house the bad guy but doesn’t anymore = bad

    Giving a crap about something other than our privileged lives = good

    Giving these guys your hard-earned money = probably a bad idea

    I’m torn on this too – I’m moved, I’m angry, I’m sad and I’m motivated, but I’m also not going to trust some video that stole its first several shots from a Google ad made by some guys that are about as transparent as a sheet of tin foil. I want to get out there on April 20 and plaster the streets of Toronto with these posters, but I have to purchase them from these guys first? Why not stay true to a grassroots, social movement and give me a file of artwork so that I can use my own, local resources to create my own arsenal of posters to inform the people in my neighbourhood? I wish it was easier for me to just get off my wallet and donate, but I need to trust that my money is going where it’s needed. I don’t see a plan for my dollars in this video, and so I’ll continue to share it, but like most everyone else that will watch this, probably won’t do much about it. We need actionable plans, please!

    I do like that you posted this, Liz, you care.

    • Liz says:

      Julia, I could not have said it better myself. I wholeheartedly agree with every single one of your points. I’m not too keen on forking over my own money when the details of where it will end up is murky–but I am ALL ABOUT spreading the awareness. I think the point a lot of people are missing is that that is IC’s self-proclaimed mission statement–to spread awareness on bringing Kony to justice, not focus on donating $$$.

      Thank you so much for your good-spirited comment, I really enjoyed it.

  9. Rachel says:

    I’m not sure I can understand how you have done research on Invisible Children, and yet can still support it, knowing that they support and actively engage in promoting direct military involvement. Since Kony’s been using children as soldiers, they’re directly supporting the killing of those forced child soldiers by supporting that. Irregardless of the ‘shady’ financial issues, that is one really big reason not to support Invisible Children. Yes, awareness is good, but there are other sites you can link around to spread the word, ones which don’t help to fund the killing of children.

    • Liz says:

      I am not naive enough to think that there hasn’t been bloodshed over the US military involvement however, direct combat with the LRA is not what the troops are assigned for. This is this taken from this article:

      “although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.”

      A war is a war. Does it suck that it involves children? Absolutely {isn’t that what this is all about in the first place?}. I think its horrible and heartbreaking they are being subjected to this regardless of if they have been abducted into the LRA or not, which is why I support military intervention because at least it is actively doing something to prevent future deaths of innocents. It’s not like we can just lure these children soldiers away from Kony with candy.

  10. Kristin says:

    Liz,

    Bravo for you for sharing something that you care deeply about. The decades-long conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa is profoundly complex and goes deeper and extends far beyond the reach of Invisible Children, but IC has helped to bring to light the countless number of lives that have been lost as a result of war and genocide. They make the point that when these lives are brought to such an abrupt end (be it as a result of genocide, war, abduction, or rampant disease) we, as human beings, should CARE about it.

    Is there a far larger problem in Uganda (and DRC and Sudan and the list goes on) than IC can hope to solve? Yes. Does that mean that they shouldn’t try to have an impact on the problem? Thank God there are people that think the answer to that question is: ABSOLUTELY NOT. We need people to try, we need people to care, we need people to stand up and say, “This is not ok. These lives have value.”

    I have seen several Invisible Children video presentations and have a general understanding of their work, but I don’t pretend to know the details of their financial practices or operations. It is evident, though, that as an organization they value human life and feel called to take action to protect it.

    I work in the nonprofit sector and I wish with all of my heart that more people understood that nonprofit organizations cannot function without overhead. Any organization that boasts that 100% of their funds go to direct services is either not telling the whole financial story or will not exist as an organization for very long. Nonprofits need skilled, intelligent, competent professionals to carry out their organizations’ missions and need funding for infrastructure and marketing in order to be successful. I would argue that an organization that follows the model I’ve described (again, not familiar enough with IC to say whether this applies specifically to them) is being a better steward of their donors’ funds than those that do not – the percentage of funding applied to direct services is such a tiny part of the story when it comes to an organization’s overall impact.

    Anyway, all of this is to say: thanks for being another one that cares, you’re braver than most for being willing to share something that you care about knowing all along that there will be people with questions, and know that a lot of the negative comments here with regard to organizational financial structure don’t hold a lot of weight. I think you’re pretty wonderful for going out on this limb. Thanks for sharing.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for your comment, Kristin. I agree with what you said about nonprofit organizations still requiring funding to function. I don’t see how people aren’t understanding that.

  11. kelly ann says:

    I love you.

    I think the most important thing that has happened in last day or two, is that people now know the name Joseph Kony. The name has spread all over the world at lightning speed. And now we can act in whatever way we each individually choose. THAT is progress. THAT is action. And while some people may not support this one organization, that’s okay! But the fact that this video has made people aware, and has made so many people care about this issue – I think that in itself, regardless of IC’s not-so-good qualities, is important.

    Do I think IC is perfect? No way. Could they do a LOT of things differently? Absolutely. Should they be more transparent with their finances/etc.? YES. Is it okay for people to question them? Yes! I think IC has quite a few things they need to change about their organization – I really do. All organizations can better themselves. However… I will say this: I went to a University that was heavily involved with IC and worked alongside them all the time. I got to see and talk to the founders on many occasions. I saw their hearts. I saw their compassion. I got to witness so many of the incredible things they accomplished. I got to meet young people who’s lives were saved because of IC. I got to hear their stories and see their hope for the future. That impacted me more than I could say. They HAVE done amazing things and they HAVE saved lives. Do I support IC 100%? No. I don’t. But this issue is something I care about SO deeply, that I respect them for bringing an awareness like this. Do I think everyone should give all their money to IC? No. But they DO need to be made aware, and this video has accomplished that greatly. We can all choose to take action in our OWN way, no one is forcing us to support IC exclusively.

    This issue is complicated, yes. A lot needs to be done. But I know that, America especially, has the power to stop this war and stop this man. No matter our opinions or political affiliation, we need to stand up and join hands.

    This video meant something to you. This issue is close to your heart. YOU are spreading awareness. And that’s really important, Liz.

    xo.

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March 7, 2012 Personal, Srsly Liz