In the last few days, awareness about Joseph Kony and the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) has exploding under this "Kony 2012" campaign, started by the Invisible Children group. I personally think that it's awesome that there is suddenly public awareness of what is going on in Uganda, but what I do wonder is, why now?
I have known about Invisible Children and Joseph Kony for a couple years, when the Invisible Children group came to Florida State College at Jacksonville's Kent Campus, and they had a very moving presentation. They talked about Kony and the kidnapping of children, as well as the horrible things he made them do and the horrors the children went through. I was moved by the presentation, but it was a relatively small movement at the time. Invisible Children have been promoting their cause for a while now, but I wonder what happened all of a sudden, after all of these years, for them to literally explode all over the social networking sites. If someone had said "Kony" or "Invisible Children" a year ago, or even just a week ago, people would have no idea what that person meant. But at least it is finally getting attention all over the web, and maybe more activism can go into stopping Kony. I don't think it's something that should turn into a huge scale military invasion, but I do believe that the world has a duty to these children to save them from the horrific crimes Kony and his men have them execute. No child in any country should be kidnapped and forced to brutalize and kill their parents or other people.
I've seen a lot on the internet, as well, "Oh, what's the use blogging about it or liking it on facebook...", etc, but it was blogging and facebook and social media that brought this into the spotlight anyways. Sure, Invisible Children can travel to schools and raise awareness like I experienced, but in the years that they have been doing that, it had no where near the influence that social media had literally overnight. I've also even seen a few things saying that Kony 2012 is just a ploy for Invisible Children to scam donations from people, and I actually researched these claims. Although I think the salaries of the founders of the organization to be a bit high, I couldn't find any evidence to substantiate these claims, though I haven't had the time to dig deeply through the documents about their donations and such.
And for those who may not have yet heard about Kony 2012 or Invisible Children, or want to know more, here's the link to the Invisible Children website: Invisible Children