Watching the Kony 2012 video could not have related any greater to what we are learning and doing at this very moment. If you have not seen it yet go to Kony2012.com immediately and watch it. Joseph Kony is kidnapping children first in Uganda and now all over Central Africa and forcing them to be child soldiers. They are being kidnapped from their homes and are forced to mutilate and kill others in support of the LRA. I personally spent 8 days in Uganda in November 2008 and it makes me sick to my stomach that I did nothing to help. I didnt even know it existed. I specifically remember getting a travel warning about the danger of being in the north and completely ignored the reason why. I wish there was something I could have done to make a difference. That being said, the biggest difference we can make now is to talk about it. Spread the word. Today, we spent our first day in the Lost Boys of Sudan center and the biggest take away I had from being there was the need to speak up. Kuol, the director of the center, and Jany, a lost boy, spent the afternoon telling us about the mission of the center and its change in focus. Their new mission is to educate leaders and citizens about South Sudan. They need people to know what is going on and to tell other people. They told us to speak up, talk about it, spread their stories. That is exactly what Invisible Children needs us to do. If we stay engaged and vocal, our politicians will know we care, if they know we care, they will keep giving aid, if they keep giving aid, the Ugandan army will have greater ability to fight, if they can fight and know how to track Kony they can kill or capture him. It is a domino effect that starts with US. It is sad that this is something we have not really heard about before. I have always heard of invisible children but have never taken the time to know what they are about. It took something as powerful and widespread as this video to get us engaged.
The target audience is our generation. We have both the ability to make an impact and the drive. We have been given the ability to speak about anything anywhere and should utilize that ability to do good. We have the benefit of empowerment because of the way we are raised and invisible children is using that to help spread the message that Kony needs to be stopped. As a communications student, it is interesting to see the way the message is being spread. It is a message that we should not forget and should keep spreading; both the knowledge of what Kony is doing to African children and the politics of South Sudan.
It is reassuring to know that we are doing the most that we can. That through this blog, our facebooks, twitters, and conversations with friends we are doing everything we can to help. I went into this week very skeptical about the difference we can make. Even the first few days we were here I felt like we weren’t making a huge difference. Today has completely shifted that feeling. At first I wanted to apologize to my friends for blowing up twitter but I am not sorry. I could not think of anything I could do that could be a greater help than educating as many people as possible about the atrocities that have happened and are happening. We learn about history so that it does not repeat itself. We now have the opportunity to do both that and step forward in doing something about it.