88 million views and counting. That’s how broad the reach of one single video is, thanks to viral attention it received from the public. It was all the work of a charity by the name of Invisible Children, who hoped to raise awareness of the terrible crimes happening in Uganda at the hands of a complex criminal organisation led by a man called Joseph Kony. If you know little of the story, you must have been hiding under a rock for the first few months of the year. It was literally everywhere – from the Internet (where its attention was rapidly scattered across the globe, thanks to Twitter) to the traditional press – everyone received word of this pivotal video, which was designed to make the mastermind of a destructive ‘famous’, in order for International forces to apprehend him and bring him to justice.
While the best way to understand the initiative is to watch the film, the premise is that it shows the damage which the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has done to Uganda. Recruiting child soldiers to fight with no specific cause, it’s the workings of Joseph Kony and his claims of being possessed by spirits. His claims have been convincing enough for him to abduct over 66,000 children in his time (1986-now) in order to allow him to evade capture from the local authorities. The youngsters are at the heart of Invisible Children’s initiatives, the charity would like to save them from the near-inevitable risk of being takes by Kony and his forces, which wouldn’t happen if the fugitive was arrested for the crimes he’s got away with for the past few decades.
If you’re still yet to see the “Kony 2012” thirty-minute film, one of the components of their action plan was to raise the profile of Joseph Kony with a ‘Cover the Night’ scheme. The plan was to donate money to the charity in order to get an action kit, from which you could pin up posters and various other things on 20th April, all across the globe. This, however, wasn’t as successful as they may have hoped, but those in-the-know have become aware of the public’s interest in Kony’s apprehension nonetheless and plans have been put into action to bring him to justice. Thus far, it hasn’t happened, but people can still donate to Invisible Children in order to restore order in Uganda and give them the upbringing they deserve.