08 March 2012

Kony 2012

What if one evil man could be brought to justice not with years of war and thousands of dead, but with one year, and thousands of outspoken people that donate a few dollars?

I watched the Kony 2012 video like many others, only I already knew his name.  I already know his children.  I already have seen the crimes he has committed in the faces of women and children who have been raped, had their families murdered in front of them, and forced to live in the wild or fear capture.  I visited northern Uganda in January/February 2011, and I will never be the same.

Me with one of the children from ChildVoice
I visited my friend Natalie (her blog) who volunteered for an organization, Child Voice International that hosts a center for young women and their children to attend to learn life skills so they may provide for their families.  They stay for a year or so and then return to their villages where they can hopefully get a small loan and start their businesses.  (At the time I visited they were working on the last part).  These women and children were all so happy and joyful, it’s hard to believe that they had been tortured just a few years prior.

The “mother” of the center told me a story of how she had to run from her village with just her twins and no supplies because the Lord Resistance’s Army was coming to kill everyone.  She saw many murdered.  She told me of not knowing who of her family and friends survived and who died.  They lived in the bush for years wondering if tonight would be the night they were discovered and killed, or kidnapped to become a sex slave. 

Many of the women have children, not because they are promiscuous, but because of rampant rape in the bush.  I could write for hours about these women’s absolutely horrific stories, you could fill pages with their suffering, but what I want to talk about is their hope.  They WANT a better life for their children.  That’s why they are at the Child Voice center, to work hard for a way to provide for their families.  But Joseph Kony and his LRA are still a threat.  What if everything they have worked so hard for is destroyed and taken from them over night?  This is why Kony needs to be stopped.

Some of the kids from ChildVoice
What’s the best way to stop Kony?  I’m not sure.  I honestly don’t know if blanketing cities in posters is the best idea (sounds like an environmental hazard actually), but it’s the first idea I’ve heard that puts the power in the hands of the citizens of the world. 

Not everyone can afford to fly to Uganda and volunteer at Child Voice, but everyone can afford to post a video to Facebook to raise awareness.

There have been many critics to the Kony 2012 movement, but what good movement hasn’t?  People have issues with Tom’s Shoes and even the Red Cross, but for me all three of these organizations do enough good to justify my donation.

I’d like to imagine a world where an evil dictator can be imprisoned with the power of millions demanding it and a few highly trained people executing it.  No need for massive wars, bombs, or deaths, just a couple hundred troops of the country where the evil man is residing with some additional training and help from others to capture a man that has spent his life capturing others.  This world I imagine can be real.  I’m going to at least try to help make it happen.


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