I have lots of things I’d love to write about on here and I hope to soon. Today I want to show this video by Invisible Children. From sophomore year of college (2008) until this past spring (2011) I was part of the New Paltz Invisible Children Club. I was a founding member of the club, but that was only because my close friends were interested and I tagged along, halfway interested. Somtime during junior year I started taking things more seriously and took a more active role in the club. I managed the club blog, but I also did a ton of other stuff. (When a small group of college girls are running something you typically don’t have a formal job title for your responsibilities!) It was a lot of fun and some of my fondest memories from college are part of that club with my friends.
What is Invisible Children? Its a not for profit organization that was created in 2003 and aims to bring attention to a war that has reeked havoc over Central Africa (specifically Uganda and more recently CAR, DRC and South Sudan) for the past 26 years due to Joseph Kony and his rebel army (LRA) which is predominately made of child soldiers. IC also raises money for some really ingenious funding projects to help rehabilitate war victims and improve safety and communication for the more remote villages affected by the conflict.
Two reasons I like Invisible Children: 1. They are really great at getting young people to care about a social issue. Most IC supporters are high school and college students. 2. In regards to the donation part of IC, This is not a run of the mill charity organization that tries to provide food for the “poor people of Africa.” The money that IC raises is used in ways the people in Uganda and the DRC, not Americans, have decided it is best fit. This includes school rebuilding, free tuition scholarships for students, employment opportunities and economic courses for women who escaped the rebels, and radio towers to improve communication lines between villages. The people affected by this conflict are well educated and extremely capable, they have just been put in a very difficult and dangerous situation. IC simply helps provide resources and word of mouth via technology and videos that these people would not be able to do on their own.
Each year Invisible Children has a concept that they promote. Every semester they have teams of “Roadies” visit schools throughout the country to show a new film and discuss the current situation of the war. This year their initiative is “Kony 2012.” Joseph Kony is the leader behind this senseless rebel group, the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), that has killed and abducted thousands of adults and children. He is ranked the most wanted criminal by the International Justice Court. So why has the majority of the population never heard of him? Why isn’t he as famous as George Clooney, Jay-Z or Taylor Swift? 2012 is the year to make him infamous to the world.
I could talk about Invisible Children for hours. If you have any questions for me feel free to leave a comment, but I leave you today with the newest Invisible Children film. Take a few minutes out of your busy day to watch this film!
**Update** I am blown away by how viral this video has gone in the past two days and I find it interesting how controversy has also been surrounding it. Here’s my opinion: Invisible Children has been creating movies very similar to this one and initiatives like Kony2012 for the past 8 years, this is not new. If you just heard about them yesterday then you have 8 years of this organization to catch up on.
Also, if you want to criticize the organization after doing thorough research, then you have every right to do that. If you are interested in doing some research on Invisible Children here are some facts straight from the source: http://www.invisiblechildren.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/critiques.html