7 minutes into watching a film entitled KONY 2012 was all it took to have me crying—hyperventilating as I listened to Jacob, a young Ugandan fleeing for his life in 2006, tell his heart-wrenching story.
The same story prompted filmmaker Jason Russell to “do something,” and he launched his social justice organization Invisible Children and more recently, the KONY 2012 Campaign in partnership with Resolve, and the Enough Project.
What is Kony 2012?
The campaign has one goal: stop rebel group L.R.A. (Lord’s Resistence Army) and its leader Joseph Kony who have terrorized the people of several African countries, including northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan.
The group and its leaders have been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, but have succeeded in evading capture since 2005.
While under Kony‘s 26 years of leadership, the L.R.A. has gained a reputation for brutality, mutilation, mass rape and the abduction over 66,000 children who’ve been forced into sex slavery as well as its rebel army.
The L.R.A. has caused an estimated 30,000 deaths and the displacement of two million people.
For nearly 10 years, Invisible Children has worked tirelessly to spread the word, hoping to finally gain the attention of the U.S. government, despite the lack of political interest.
In Fall 2011, the organization reached a major milestone when President Obama deployed 100 military advisors to assist the Ugandan government in the arrest of Joseph Kony.
Enter Kony 2012—the global campaign targeting 20 culture icons and 12 policymakers, using print, social media, word of mouth and film screenings, to keep the deployed advisors in Uganda until Kony is arrested.
In an effort to do more than say “hey, here’s something bad happening in one of those African countries you’ll never visit,” Russel carefully weaves in the innocence and naïveté of his own young son throughout the Kony 2012 film.
The compelling storyline is further aided by fantastic visual effects and cinematography.
The intelligently designed campaign empowers its supporters to get involved, stay involved and get others involved.
Everything will come together on a global April 20th event called Cover the Night. Participants will be plastering their cities with posters, stickers, and signs of Joseph Kony in order for the rest of the world to (literally) wake up and see his face.
It took 7 minutes of watching the Kony 2012 film to make me cry. When those tears dried—I did some research while watching the remaining 23 minutes, purchased my KONY 2012 Action Kit (which includes bracelets, stickers and posters), and decided to tell the world.