Seeing The Faces Beyond Kony

Brighton, age 9 (March 2012) supported by House of Loveness, Zimbabwe

I've had to spend some time collecting my thoughts about the recent Invisible Children campaign.  The minute the campaign went viral and I saw the urgent appeal on Facebook from my friends and their children, I was perplexed.  The outpouring of urgency from the campaign didn't make sense because I knew Kony (the head of the LRA) that the campaign was focused on capturing (with your donations) was no longer in Uganda AND no longer a threat. His damage was done years ago. The children that survived his atrocities do deserve our help.   The focus should be on empowering the children's future, not on making Kony a household name.

I have never met the filmmakers of Invisible Children but I do know they spoke at my own children's school 2 years ago.  They pulled in on their bus, showed their film and got the children engaged in conversations about Africa and how to help. I know their intentions were good and I don't doubt that they have made a tremendous difference in the lives of some of the children in Uganda.  I do feel uncomfortable about their methods of raising money, from the Disney-esque, Michael Jackson inspired video released in 2006 featuring the filmmakers in dance scenes that could be straight out of High School musical (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6QWdVD4zsc) to the recent Kony2012 video that over 80 million people viewed which NEVER mentioned that Kony is no longer in Uganda. Both these videos raised a lot of money for the Invisible Children, US-based organization. Some of it went to the children in Africa.


If you want to see more of your dollars working for these children, take a look at Sam Childers' organization (http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/). There was a recent movie made about his work in East Africa not only rescuing the children from the LRA but staying on in Africa and empowering them through the gift of education. 


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