You've probably noticed the words "Kony 2012" trending amongst your Facebook and Twitter friends over the past few days. If you haven't already been curious enough to click play, then I urge you to do so, it's possibly one of the most moving things you'll watch today. The twenty minute film, entitled "Kony 2012" is the work of activist Joseph Russell who wants the name Joseph Kony to become a household name but not for reasons you might think.
Who is Joseph Kony? -
Joseph Kony is the vile guerilla leader behind the bloodthirsty and murderous Ugandan rebel group, the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army). Kony is the head of a violent campaign which worryingly, is not fighting for a single cause. For the past twenty six years, he has abducted thousands of Ugandan children often killing their family members and neighbours, multilating peoples faces and forcing the girls into sex slavery and the boys into his army where they are forced into being cold blooded killers, many being forced to murder their parents, siblings and other members of their families. Shockingly we are not talking small numbers here, Kony has reportedly abducted over 30,000 children for his army. The thing is, that despite this appaulling situation Joseph Kony still remains uncaptured and unpunished for his crimes and so Ugandan children live in fear of being captured like many before them and many of them are constantly on the run from their homes in order to retain their freedom, witnessing many horrors in the process.
The Documentary -
The viral features many heartwrenching facts that are unbeknown to the majority of peopleoutside of Uganda. The documentaries creator, Joseph Russell shares with us the many crimes of Joseph Kony. We are introduced to Russells' son Gavin (possibly the cutest child I've ever seen), one of the main reasons Russell has created this film and charity in the hope of it leading to the capture of Joesph Kony by the end of 2012, is to be one step closer in creating a better future world for his son and other children around the world. Russell also introduces us to a friend Jacob, whom he met ten years ago in Uganda where Jacob was running for his life, and rebelling from Konys' army with hundreds of other terrified children. At such a young age, Jacob had already witnessed many horrific things we could not even begin to comprehend, such as the brutal murder of his brother. As a young Jacob shared more and more of his story with Russell, he utters words far beyond anything a young child should even begin to understand, that he would rather be dead than live in the way that he was. This was when a promise was made by Russell and his team, to do whatever they could to end the stop Kony and his guerilla army, which is what he has spent nine years campaigning for and the reason this video has been created. They have already helped to rebuild schools, raise money and awareness, create jobs, and change the lives of so many, even building an early warning radio transmitter to alert as many people as possible of Konys' approaching army. Once they had raised initial awareness and gained the support of so many people from around the world, President Obama has now made a huge step in the fight against Kony and has committed a hundred US troops into aiding the fight and arresting Kony. Kony has since changed tactics, and is proving harder and harder to locate.
The video expires December 31st 2012, this is the date by which Russell, his co-workers, the charity Invisible Children, his supporters and campaigners and ME, want Joseph Kony to have been stopped and arrested by, and is the date by which each and everyone one of them want things to have started in the road to a changing world, a BETTER world.
How they aim to do this-
"In order for Kony to be arrested this year, the Ugandan military has to find him. In order to find him, they need to technology and training to track him in the vast jungle. That's where the American advisors come in, but in order for the American advisors to be there, the US Government has to deploy them, they've done that, but if the Government doesn't believe that people care about arresting Kony, the mission will be cancelled, in order for the people to care they have to know and they will only know if Konys' name is everywhere. This is the dream, Kony arrested for all the world to see, and the children returned home.
In order to get Kony captured, we must first make Kony famous, a well known face and name so that everyone knows about his crimes, so that people become aware, so that the Government know that the world wants something done.
Although I knew bits and pieces about Jospeh Kony before this film went viral, I will openly admit I did not truly understand the full extent of the damage he was inflicting on the lives of so many Ugandans. There are many conflicting opinions on the cause, some in full support, some who are completely against the charity due to claims of unfair distribution of the money they raise and others who strangely, seem to be angry at those who are "jumping on the band wagon" as it were. To those people I say, yes perhaps some people did not know a thing about this disgusting man or the charities who are working to capture him before this viral, and perhaps yes many people will click 'share' without understanding fully about Joseph Kony, but surely regardless of how much prior knowledge you had or did not have, the video is serving it's purpose, and suceeding greatly in spreading a hugely touching message. Since Tuesday (06/03/2012) when the Invisible Childrens online pledge went live online a massive 105,000 signatures have already been collected, and it has already gained 250,000 likes on Facebook. Whether you knew about Joseph Kony before the launch of Kony 2012, or whether you have been touched enough by the cause potrayed in the viral to spread the word, PLEASE keep clicking share and together we can help to fulfil the wishes of Joseph Russell in making Joesph Kony famous. If this was happening on your doorstep, would you keep quiet about it and allow it to happen without consequences? No, it simply would not happen, so why should it be allowed to happen elsewhere?
You can sign the pledge here.
And purchase bracelets and Kony 2012 action kits here.
Please look out for Kony 2012 'Cover the Night' events in your town on Friday April 20th 2012 (see Facebook for details).
Sincerely, Alexa ♥