"This is a picture of the founders of Invisible Children.
Joseph Kony is undoubtedly a cruel man, but lets look at some fun facts around the issue and the organization Invisible Children (after you read what I wrote check out some of the links, especially the article from The Guardian which has scholars and experts expressing both sides of the issue and of IC):
-The LRA is only 250 soldiers strong at this point.
-The LRA hasn't been in Uganda since 2006.
-Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting.
-US Africa Command has been trying to stop Kony for years, which only results in failure and retaliation from Kony.
"In general, we're concerned [about] the catastrophic consequences for the local population," Van Damme said. "We've seen in the past, over and over again, how there's been a lot of retaliation by the LRA, the burning of villages, maiming people, a lot of killings, with little military success." - Steven Van Damme, Oxfam's protection and policy advisor for the whole of eastern Congo
-The footage in the video and the framing of the issue are from 2004-2006.
-To get to Kony you'd have to ultimately kill some of his army...which consists of children soldiers.....
-"While the extreme atrocities committed by the LRA cannot be justified by any 'political cause', the LRA did originally emerge as a direct reaction to extreme atrocities committed since the late 1980s by the government and armed forces of Uganda against the Acholi people in northern Uganda. The person in charge since 1986 until today is Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, who is himself a former rebel army leader and came to power by force."
-Only 37% of money raised went to direct services (if you support the issue you may want to choose a more worthwhile charity).
-Of this 37%, a third goes to their scholarship program, which is undoubtedly helpful, but it only supports 700-800 children. So a MILLION dollars is being used to support ONLY 700-800 children...
-Their "accountability and transparency" is a 2 out of 4 stars on charity navigator.
-They have never been publicly audited.
-The group is in favor of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces.
- Foreign Affairs has claimed that Invisible Children (among others) “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.”
-"So far the organisation has released 11 films and run film tours across the US and other countries to raise awareness. In Uganda, it has given scholarships to 750 children, and helped to re-build schools there and in centralo Africa. The organisation's accounts show it's a cash rich operation, which more than tripled its income in 2011, with more than two thirds of its money coming from "general donations".
The accounts suggest nearly 25% of its $8.8m income last year was spent on travel and film-making with only around 30% going toward programes on the ground. The great majority of the money raised has been spent in the US. $1.7 million went on US employee salaries, $357,000 in film costs, $850,000 in film production costs, $244,000 in "professional services" - thought to be Washington lobbyists - and $1.07 million in travel expenses . Nearly $400,000 was spent on office rent in San Diego."
Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. Educate yourselves a little bit before supporting a particular nonprofit.
Some good reads: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/mar/08/kony-2012-what-s-the-story#block-4
http://www.wrongingrights.com/2009/03/worst-idea-ever.html/ http://chrisblattman.com/2009/03/04/visible-children/ http://allafrica.com/stories/201203080526.html
Not saying Kony isn't a horrible person. Just thought people might want the entire picture before they support an organization.
Also I have noticed that people have been responding to the shares with IC's response to most of these criticisms. Most of the responses, just like their video, are framed very positively and lack a real substantive dialogue. It is more piecemeal BS that is coming from the creators. I'd love to see some positive third party feedback. So far all the unbiased, third-party feedback seems either neutral or negative." -- Frank Piazza
Edited by Nikotine, 09 March 2012 - 08:01 AM.