I don’t need to do a deep introduction of Kony 2012, most people who are connected to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ will have come across a 30 minute video documentary about it. For those that don’t know (thought that is highly unlikely), Kony 2012 is a campaign set up by an organisation called “Invisible Children Inc“, and the aim of the campaign is to spread awareness of a tyrant in Uganda named Joseph Kony. On the official website, he is described as “One of the World’s Worst War Criminals”. You can find out details of the campaign here.
It’s obvious that the campaign is extremely effective. In fact the majority of my connections online are still posting up the documentary as I type this post. Even though everyone is sharing the campaign out of the goodness of their hearts, I’ve always been suspicious of the whole thing. It’s all a bit sudden, and quite random for someone based in the UK. I’m not the sort of person to share something that I’m not clear about, yet make a donation to an organisation that I’ve never heard of, but that’s just me.
I was soon to find out my suspicions weren’t too bizarre. It turns out that the organisation known as Invisible Children Inc isn’t so Holy after all. According to a source at “The Daily What“, they have a history of using dishonest strategies to boost support and gain donations. The proceedings are used to pocket the wallets of just a few, and only about 31% goes towards the actual cause, which according to the source, funds DIRECT military intervention.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
“The organization behind Kony 2012 - Invisible Children Inc. - is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called -”misleading”, “naive” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.
Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.”
You can read the full article here.
It’s all good to spread awareness of problems, but we should always make sure we understand the story surrounding it, and what is already being done by the necessary parties to deal with it. Don’t be so caught up in emotion that you end up supporting something that escalates a problem. I’d rather support causes within reach, where I can see the progress and be directly involved. Organisations such as Free Belarus Now, and the Haringey Peace Alliance are very good examples. Just because something looks good on screen, and it involves wars children, doesn’t mean it’s legit.
Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment below.