Recently, a video was put out by the Invisible Children organization about a man named Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). (If that sentence lost your attention, go check out the video, Kony 2012)
The video has captured people's hearts and taken the online-world by storm, quickly covering Facebook walls, Twitter conversations and email inboxes. The well-crafted film shows the rights of children in Uganda being violated by Joseph Kony (which, there are other men like him in the area), who has used thousands of child soldiers and displaced millions of people throughout Uganda and Africa for decades.
After watching, most adults and youth alike, feel compelled to take action. We feel that sense of justice and want Kony locked up or taken out! And how encouraging that this next generation of youth has a strong desire for social causes and making a difference in this world. So, when Invisible Children has a simple solution to "make Kony famous" by 1. sharing the emotional video (via social media) and 2. dedicating a day to plaster cities with posters from your "action kit" (raising "Kony 2012") ...it's easy for everyone to become an 'activist' (or promotional-ist).
Is this the right solution though? As adults/leaders it is our responsibility to equip our next generation of leaders to be independent/accurate thinkers and truth seekers, before following the emotionally-driven crowd. Did anyone ask questions after watching the video, or did everyone just decide to jump "in" to 'help'?
I'm concerned that we are about to "miss the mark," regardless of good intentions. Adults are blindly getting behind their kids without questioning/discernment - allowing youngsters to act on emotion, without thinking LONG TERM.
The farthest ahead most are thinking is April 20th. The date dedicated to rallying buddies together to hang up posters around the city. (Did you know this is apparently Adolf Hitler's birthday too?). Then, we make Kony famous, governments find and take him down (and millions of posters are blowing around the streets)...then what? The children in Uganda will be happy, safe, well-fed, educated and full of hope, right?
Let me just leave you with questions below to PLEASE CONSIDER before taking action. I will not stand in the way of people doing good...as I believe in rising up the next generation to do good. If you TRULY believe this is a worthy difference maker after researching, then by all means, go for it! Or perhaps you'll discover another way to help the children in Uganda more directly?
It's absolutely the right heart to serve those in need (after all, true religion is helping widows and orphans). Though, our hearts can be deceived. It is CRUCIAL to know what and who's mission you're getting behind. Please, LEARN MORE about the ISSUES & NEEDS in Uganda, the ORGANIZATION you want to support, and then TAKE ACTION.
I pray for you to have discernment and wisdom on this matter and all social causes/leaders in the future.
PLEASE ASK THESE QUESTIONS:.
The discerning heart seeks knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. -Proverbs 15:14
- What are the needs in Uganda? Hint to one.
- What is the complete picture of the situation in Uganda?
- What has already been done (overall)? Obama Orders U.S. Troops to Help Chase Down Kony
- How does Invisible Children spend the money raised? (Yes, more goes to Awareness than Africa)
- What is Invisible Children's "plan" after awareness is raised?
- What does Invisible Children believe? Why is supporting the most corrupt/violent governments (Uganda) a good thing?
- Why isn't there an African member on the board of directors for Invisible Children?
- How else could our money and time be better utilized to positively impact Ugandan children?
- What would make a greater impact for the children in Uganda?
- How can one actively get involved in people's lives that need help, beyond "talking" and sharing about a problem or cause? (Let's get real! Do the work or financially support those who do!)
- Why are we (Christ-followers) raising the name "Kony" instead of "Jesus?"
- What is God saying about this "campaign?"