[Update: It has come to my attention that this story has generated a bit of controversy. When I first saw this video, it seemed very genuine. I still have not decided how I feel as of yet, but I will provide you the same information that was provided me. The popular blog Jezebel has posted two very informative articles that made me question my initial understanding of what was going on. Though Jezebel is known for its pointed and unfiltered opinion, these articles contain excerpts and links to several primary sources, including responses from Invisible Children to the various criticisms presented. Having read all of them very closely, it's still not for me to say who is right or wrong. Being against child abduction had seemed to be wholly apolitical, but as it turns out I may have been "victim" of the same rhetoric that, while not entirely incorrect, persuaded me to believe something without knowing the full story. I don't regret what I wrote below; I only regret that our society continually 1) takes advantage of the goodhearted and idealistic, and 2) refuses to believe a good thing can be done without ulterior motive. All I can do is offer you the same sources of information that were offered to me and let you make your own decision]
The other day a very powerful video came across my feed. It told the heartbreaking story of a Ugandan boy named Jacob who grew up in a war-torn country plagued by a violent past, determined to precipitate an even bloodier future.
For over 20 years, indicted War Criminal Joseph Kony has been kidnapping children into his Ugandan Rebel Group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The girls are reportedly turned to sex slaves, and the boys soldiers as part of Kony’s holy cause to overthrow the Ugandan administration. The LRA forces them to do terrible things like mutilating combatants’ faces or murdering their own parents.
30,000 children have been abducted and treated in this way. To make matters worse, Kony was indicted in 2005 by the International Criminal Court and is currently the ICC’s #1 Most Wanted. Yet he still remains at large.
According to the filmmaker, Jason Russell, part of the Invisible Children organization behind the effort to bring Kony to justice, that’s because the majority of the international community knows little to nothing about the issue. Russell and his colleagues attempted to garner support in the US Government, but were evidently told that unless Uganda presented a threat to the US national security or a substantial financial incentive, no US involvement would occur.
I felt shame, not just for the indifference of my government but for my own ignorance. Before I could so much as post the video on Facebook, I found a message in my inbox informing me that one of our recent Certified Developers, AIR Experience, has developed a junaio channel to help spread the word.
Just launch junaio and search “Kony 2012″ to find the according channel. Use the image above as a tracking image to watch the video on your mobile device or share the appropriate information with your network.
Many thanks to AIR Experience for getting involved with this and bringing it to our attention. I can only hope that this junaio channel will in some small way help to inform and educate our user base on the horrors that have already been committed. I can only hope that they too will act on this, sharing it in whatever way possible to further enlighten the international community on what needs to be done.
Children. They’re just children.