Kony 2012 was a campaign which spread through the internet like wildfire and if you haven’t heard of it, you really need to socialize more. I was one of the many who got caught up by the campaign and even posted the video on here if you look at my earlier posts. I totally leapt on the bandwagon, for all of a few days until the details of the charity behind it (Invisible Children) came to light.
I didn’t properly research them myself at the time, I really should have seeing as I am a student of history/politics/sociology and I should have had a more critical and questioning outlook when reading about it but the fact is I didn’t. I first read about the flaws of the charity when it turned up on my facebook news feed and I realised I been a tad blind in my following of the cause. However the reasons the charity is misleading is somewhat irrelevant now as they seem to have disappeared into the background.
The video itself is an impressive example of propaganda and was very effective at achieving its goal, everyone knew who Kony was and the issues the video informed us about whilst simply leaving out key pieces of information such as the charity’s finances and the current activity/location of the LRA.
But what has happened to the Invisible Children now? Well not a lot. After the scandal of the misrepresentation of both the situation and the charity faith was quickly lost and people seem to have lost interest entirely. It is shocking how people went from such extreme commitment and fervour for the cause, to it being almost completely off the map. Part of the problem may be the amount of time between the video going viral and the planned Cover the Night campaign, which gave people time to question the charity and movement and decide one way or another, but also because there was insufficient maintenance of the momentum. I have not seen a single Kony 2012 poster anywhere, and I really expected to.
The issue with Invisible Children’s finances was the amount of money those who worked for the charity were getting paid and how little of the donations actually made it to the cause. Although I of course disagree with people’s well-meaning donations going into the back pockets of the leaders of the charity, I do feel the need to point out that I would far prefer charity workers to earn a high wage than footballers/Kim Kardashian to ‘earn’ the ridiculous sums they do. To my mind those who earn the most should be those who do the most to better/help people/the world. So although I disagree with the finances of the charity, we do have to question our ideas of who should earn what.
The basic idea behind the campaign is a good one, the LRA have done some terrible things, they should not be allowed to continue and they should be held accountable for what they have done. They are however not the only group to do such things and therefore are not the only group to deserve this treatment and attention. I think this issue and Invisible Children should be separate and the tarnishing of the charity should not cloud the judgement of people in a position to help the real people in need.
If you want to give to a charity to help people in these situations, or to get involved in any way my personal favourites are;
Lets make the world a little nicer than the way we found it yeah?
- KONY Revisited: A New Purpose (silentbanter.wordpress.com)
- Kony 2012 (babyyourafir3work.wordpress.com)
- Kony 2012 (brysonjun.wordpress.com)