Where you live shouldn't determine whether you live.


Hi lovely bloggers,
If you've got a spare 25 minutes, watch this video:

If you don't have the time, just know that it's currently going viral, for the good of humanity.
Basically the message is: Joseph Kony is a bad man. He is guilty of kidnapping children in Uganda and making them kill their own parents before joining his rebel force. He murders ruthlessly. He enters peace talks simply to rest and regroup, then goes on and attacks more. This year, we're going to stop him. We just have to let everyone know who he is, and show our own governments that we care...

This is what I have learnt (and paraphrased) from Jason Russell, the man who made this movie. His four-year-old son Gavin also features in the video, and even says, "We have to stop [Kony]"; a little boy who could easily be under malicious threat from Kony if he were to live in Uganda. Luckily for Gavin, he lives in America, where he is safe. But just because you and your own children are safe, doesn't make the world a peaceful place.

It is horrible to think about, but just imagine the Nazi reign still existed in Germany today. We would be hearing things about it all the time, covering our faces in horror as we saw disturbing images on TV, crying in sympathy for the poor children who had to witness their brothers or sisters or parents being slaughtered in front of them, or worse, the ones who were literally forced to kill the ones they loved themselves. A similar situation is happening in Uganda, with two main differences:
1) People barely know about it, no-one knows who Joseph Kony is.
2) We actually have an opportunity to act against it, and it doesn't even require that much bravery or risk... just compassion and a desire for justice. Make this a national interest.

This man, is a horrendous criminal..... Joseph Kony.

George Clooney is another significant person who has respectably shone a light on the situation and this man. He says, "I want, I'd like, indicted war criminals to enjoy the same level of celebrity as me."
We want Joseph Kony to be a household name. Make him famous. As Jason Russell states on the video's page: 'Not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.'

Please remind yourself, you do have the power to change what is wrong in the world. I had to write that big, because it is a big realisation to come to. There is nothing more powerful than an idea that has thousands of people standing behind it. We just have to gather ourselves in union and make this year our year for doing something incredibly amazing with our lives and voices.

Image of a Stop Kony support bracelet, source: Fun times with Demon of Light 

Update: Hmm... some sources believe that Kony is actually no longer a problem, and that the Invisible Children Inc. are oddly going on about it in order to raise (or "scam") money for themselves. He is still out there, but... here, have a quick squiz at this page: by James of I'm a fan of postcards.

In summary, this guy James is saying:
:: the Invisible Children Inc. (the makers of the video / the non-for profit group) were simply "three clueless college kids" who actually headed to Sudan first, looking for a "story". They found nothing, went to Uganda instead.
:: They found bad stuff, they found Kony. But this was earlier than 2004. 
:: Kony in 2006, apparently, was "sick, starving, and on his last legs." He had been pushed into Congo by The Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF); pretty much "defeated". 
:: Kony's rebel team (the LRA) was very violent in 2003, but the Ugandan government has been repeatedly beating and weakening them ever since. 

So if these statements are true, what does this mean?
Quoting James, 'Invisible Children is too late. 
'It has taught us that MTV type media can get university students interested in a world crisis, the problem is it took too much time.' 
That's not to say that Uganda doesn't have other problems. It's government is riddled with corruption; it's people live in fear that the violence will return. But as James believes, targeting Joseph Kony could be pointless.

Another writer, Wil Wheaton, backs this up with his tumblr post, saying that the Invisible Children Inc. "has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because it won't let their financials be independently audited". The group has been accused by Foreign Affairs of "manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes." 
Wheaton examines what he believes the Invisible Children actually do with their received charity money, and his bottom line is:
"Research your cases thoroughly. Don't just forward a random video to a stranger because a mass murderer makes a five-year-old "sad." Learn a little bit about the complexities of the region's ongoing strife before advocating for direct military intervention."

So it seems there is a fair bit of complexity to the matter. If the Invisible Children Inc. believe Kony is still out there, then they have certainly roused the support they need through Facebook. If, sadly, we are all too late to do anything, and no-one knew when it was important... then what can you do?
I don't know why the IC would go on about an issue that is believed to be 'dead', but you never know. 

Here's what I said to my friend, and I'll say it to you guys:
I think everyone who has watched the video is pretty young - some not - and if only this video inspires people here to take more notice and educate themselves about what's actually happening in foreign countries, then it's all good.
But giving money to the IC if Foreign Affairs is right and they're "manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes" ...not so good.

I guess [soon] it's going to be on the news... and then investigative journalists can give everyone a heads up. I believe the story, and I believe the action of passing it on is very powerful... but I fear it's too late. 

Hoping all these people who would like to be 'saving the world', me included, actually turn their energy to the real issues and research how they can help out. It's also a major problem that we just throw money at underdeveloped countries... so yeah. There's good and bad in all this IC commotion.

A breezy pic to lighten the heavy mood... sourced: here

So there you go. A huge commotion, with multiple sides to look at. What do you believe? 

Hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks so much for reading, I honestly appreciate your heart and soul.


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