Wednesday, March 7

Kony 2012 -- Updated

Please do me a favor right now.

Take 27 minutes out of your day to watch this video that can change your life and the lives of many people around the world.




Why does this video matter? Why should you care? Can your voice really make a difference? I believe it can!

For about 5 years I've privately cried and prayed over the situation of child-soldiering not knowing there was a community like this doing something world-wide about it.

Thank you to a dear friend  for opening my eyes to this community and for sharing this video...and for motivating me to action!

(On a side note, I'm proud to have known you as a child and proud to
know you as the lovely young lady you've become!)


Couldn't watch the whole video? Didn't have those spare 27 minutes? Below is a brief summary of what you would learn.

Joseph Kony is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader, head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a group engaged in a violent campaign to establish theocratic government throughout Uganda. The LRA say that God has sent spirits to communicate this mission directly to Kony. His "war" is for no other reason but to maintain his control--it is, in short, a power trip.




Directed by Kony, the LRA has earned a reputation for its actions against the people of several countries, including northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Sudan. It has abducted and forced an estimated 66,000 children to fight for them, and has also forced the internal displacement of over 2,000,000 people since its rebellion began in 1986. (according to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony)



These child-soldiers are often forced to kill their own families. They are forced to kill and mutilate their own countrymen.



As a result of his actions, in 2005 Kony was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, and tops their list as Most Wanted, but has succeeded in evading capture since.



 
This video was produced by Invisible Children Organization, a community that endorses, supports, and will continue to spread the word until justice is served: that is when Joseph Kony is arrested for his many crimes in Africa. Their goal is to keep his face, his crimes in the forefront of the media & politic worldwide this year with the hopes that by Dec 31, 2012, he will have been found and arrested for his crimes against humanity.




No child should ever be abducted and forced to fight in Kony's violent campaigns....KONY 2012!!!




Now—will YOU allow this  knowledge to change & motivate you to make a real difference in the world?




*The KONY 2012 campaign employs film, social media, street art, and
face-to-face interaction to make the case that
the arrest of Joseph Kony this year
is one thing we can all agree on.*


**A reminder that people should research any and all groups prior to giving money to them.**

UPDATE:

In full disclosure I wanted to say that I have no personal knowledge of Invisible Children or their fund-raising/finances. And there have been question about Invisible Children.

In fact, there are those who question the ethics the Invisible Children organization. For instance, this has been posted about them. But I don't know any more about the person writing that article than I do the IC organization. And the Huffington Post says this. In response, Invisible Children has posted this on their website.

But as I said above, 5 years ago, my eyes were opened more the horrors of child soldiering in Africa (in part because of the movie Blood Diamond). I read books written by actual former child soldiers from Sierra Leone and Uganda. I read books by people leaving these nations and Somalia. And I cried in private and I prayed.

So perhaps Invisible Children has its own issues. I don't know: I need to do my own research.

However, if Invisible Children can actually motivate people around the world in such a way that Kony arrested and tried for his crimes, more power to them! If people are motivated to learn about the injustices in Africa, and then are motivated to do something about the situations...whether through IC or through World Vision or through Voice of the Martyrs or another organization....I don't know Amnesty International or the Peace Corps. Something. Anything. This just has to stop.


Yet Another Update:
Another interesting topic has come up in regards to this movie/movement and that is the voices of the people saying, "What about the heinous crimes going on in our own cities & nation? We should be just as passionate about what is going on in our communities and country." and  "We need to start by taking care of our backyard before we can take care of the world. We need to focus on the 2012 elections here and bring about change here." or "We need to be praying for the sins of our own nations." etc, etc.

My response?

I agree that we need to be passionate about and be motivated to pray and act on behalf of our own country, however, I do believe that things like the IC/Kony video going viral are also important. We need to look both to our neighbors and our global community.

The world is not as large as many people think. The internet and things like Facebook have shrunk it further. If we do not educate ourselves about what is going on around us globally, if we close our eyes to the pain and suffering of our neighbors both near and far, we will be destined to repeat the past: a past that includes child-soldiering, Rwanda, the Holocaust, and many other atrocities.

Sometimes we forget that when Cain flippantly answered to God "Am I my brother's keeper?" that indeed God found that he was. We need to think, pray, act, and give locally and globally. Also remember that God calls different people to focus more fully on different areas; for some it may be social issues abroad; for others, social issues here at home; for others, it may not involve social issues at all. Alone we cannot accomplish much. Together we can. At home, across our individual cities, towns, countries, and globally.
                                                                           
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What I find most interesting is the conversations that this is generating. I hope that it moves beyond conversation into real action~both here and abroad. That hearts will be changed and people will be galvanized into not standing by while atrocities are commited in our own backyard. Because, whether we live in Africa or America, or Antarctica, these things are happening in our backyard. When it comes down to it, this man, Joseph Kony is no different than Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin,  Nocolae Ceau┼čescu, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Jean Kambanda, Saddam Hussein, or Muammar Gaddafi. The people Kony leads are no different than Hitler's Nazis or the Rwandan militia who followed those in leadership at the time of genocide, nor those who carried out Khomeini's jihad against their own countrymen who did not want to follow him.

The question is, will we be different? Will we stand quietly by and watch these heinous crimes continue to take place? Will we let evil men continue to rule? Or will we stand up and raise our voices against these crimes and these perpetrators? Will we comfort those who are hurting, the down-trodden, the suffering? Will we ease their pain and hold accountable those who caused it? Will we pray, give, speak out, reach out, act out? What will we do?

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