Stop Kony

Stop Kony

Jennifer Fraccalvieri, Viewpoints Editor

“Joseph Kony for 2012”. Many of you now have a clear idea who Joesph Kony was thanks to the viral video “Kony for 2012”. Kony for 2012 was made and directed by Jason Russell, one of the co-founders of Invisible Children, Inc, and was released on March 5th. The video now has 55,240,739 views and counting. Kony for 2012 has become a cause that many people in Wantagh and all over the world are becoming attached to mostly because of their disbelief that these atrocities would be allowed in the world. For those of you who haven’t heard about Kony or seen the video, let me fill you in.

Let’s start with who Joseph Kony is; Joseph Kony is one of the world’s most notorious rebel leaders. He is accused of kidnapping more than 30,000 children across northern Uganda for over 20 years, brainwashing them, making the boys in to child soldiers and forcing them into killing their parents, consequently turning the boys in to killers and the girls in to sex slaves. Children even travel miles to get to safe havens in hopes that they would not be taken in the night. His Lord Resistance Army as well has been terrorizing villagers across central Africa, burning down villages and mutilating faces of the villagers.

As seen in the video nine years ago Jason Russell and other filmmakers Bobby Bailey, and Laren Poole traveled to Africa to document the war in Darfur, but changed their focus on northern Uganda and meet a boy, Jacob, who changed their lives forever. From there Russell and others learned about Joseph Kony and the horrors that inflict that region. Russell then sought out to make sure that Kony was brought down and the world become aware of whom Kony was. Through the years leading up to now Russell, Bailey, and Poole have created Invisible Children, Inc.

Invisible Children, Inc is an organization to bring awareness to Joesph Kony and his Lord Resistance Army. Invisible Children spread their cause through film and enlist the help of young people throughout the United States. The group, thanks to numerous amounts of donations has been able to create programs in Central Africa that focus on rehabilitation, education and an alert system to warn villages of attacks. Invisible Children hit a breakthrough in October 2011 when Barack Obama deployed 100 US troops to Uganda. Unfortunately, progress has yet to be made with the capture of Kony because his troops are moving and changing their tactics. If Kony is not captured this year American troops would be pulled out of Uganda. This is where “Kony 2012” comes in; it was made to educate and get a message across that would be impactful and hopefully people will share with their friends.

Although there is backlash from the video with people questioning Invisible Children, Inc and how true the facts are in the viral video; it’s even stressed by Russell himself to do more research on the cause. It’s important to realize as well that “Kony 2012” is the product of what happens when people join together for one cause, know that they can make a difference and change the world.