Joseph Kony recently became a trending topic among people who expressed sudden outrage for an oppressive regime. Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. The organization considers Kony to be a god and shares his belief that anyone who stands in his way should be brought down by the force of his child soldier army. His leadership has left Uganda in shambles and destroyed many families all over the region. Kony repeatedly has taken children from their parents, drugged them, killed their parents, and forced them to partake in his plot for power. Last March, the internet released a firestorm of anger towards this dictator—without actually doing anything. Invisible Children Inc. pleaded for action and fundraising. Posters were made, groups were formed, and money was raised. Although the awareness raised help make Kony a household face of evil, the money went to an organization that mostly gained profit as opposed to actually helping the people of Uganda.
First off, current research suggests Kony has fled and is no longer a direct threat to Uganda. The United States Special Forces are working on capturing Kony and trying him as war criminal. Although capturing Kony is important, helping the people affected by him is much more crucial. Kony ruled for almost 20 years and completely destroyed Ugandan families’ lives. The country is ruined by years of fighting. The limited infrastructure that existed before Kony’s rule is now gone. The main way to help the Ugandan people is to give them basic essentials they are now missing because of the deeds of this horrible man. The children of Uganda have suffered immensely; therefore it would be best for them to be helped directly because they do not deserve the horrors they had to live through.
A great way to help the children of Uganda is to donate to UNICEF. UNICEF is a global organization that helps children is impoverished areas such as Uganda. The people at UNICEF understand the most efficient ways to help these children and the organization is non-profit. Unlike Invisible Children, 100% of the money raised by UNICEF goes towards helping children. One thing Kony has taught us is action against injustice is important, but understanding what your actions are promoting is even more important. The money donated to Invisible Children could have gone to a non-profit organization that would have been more helpful to the people of Uganda. The outpour of support to take down Kony was fantastic, but if it was more directed, it could have been more effective. I advise you to donate to non-profit organizations in order to help the victims of oppressive dictators. These non-profits will help the people intended and in turn strengthen poor countries.
- CAMERON BARKAN