You may or may not have seen the Kony 2012 video created and put out by the organization, the Invisible Children. The hype of this video has some what died down since it was released a little over 2 weeks ago but in light of a recent article regarding the co-ceo of the organization, I'd like to share some more of my thoughts regarding this topic.
I have shared my thoughts on Facebook as many of you may have seen,
"I have a few friends who have been ordering from the Invisible Children website as support of Kony but despite how well done their video is, the Invisible Children organization is not the place to donate to. They have been known for shady business practices. And before being an organization they are a business, and only 30% of your money goes towards the cause. Did you see on their site in the product description where it said "People will think you’re an advocate of awesome." Really? Do something more then buy a dinky bracelet because you want to fit in. If you want to make a difference, research a more trust worthy organization by doing your own homework --- like Save the Children. Also, focus on making the government aware, as truly they can inspire the most change with our encouragement. Spread the word."
And in the comments,
"I'm not saying that he should not be stopped, because he certainly should be, and not donating to the Invisible Children is not saying that he is not a problem. I am saying that if you do donate, make sure you are putting your money where it will be best used. If given the choice to donate to a charity that gives 30% or 100%, why would you ever choose the 30%? I find it interesting that they posted the video to You Tube, not sending it out to CNN, Fox, or other large news channels. Why? Wouldn't you want to target people with more money? The audience of You Tube are teens and young adults with little to no money and little to no knowledge of the LRA and what's going on in honestly, Any parts of the world. I have way too many friends who watched this video and had never heard of the LRA or anything that was going on there. My husband and I watched the video, and yes it's sad, but it was not news to us. We were already plenty familiar with the situation and the LRA. I am sure that easily 70% or more of the people who have watched this video did no research other then Maybe taking a look at the Invisible Children's website. Be more aware. Don't eat what is openly fed to you. If you are not willing to do your own research to better understand What is Really happening there, then you really do not care about what is going on. It does need to be taken care of, because it's an issue on a Human level, not a country or race level. The US should step in, but we shouldn't be the only ones to do so."
If you watch the 30 minute video, it is well done, it pulls you in emotionally and definitely sparks the thought of "I want to help", but it doesn't do much more. It does not teach you much regarding what is going on there rather then just a skim off the top. I feel the 30 minutes could have been used a little bit more wisely. Like I said above, when my husband and I watched the video it was not news to us. We were already familiar with the issues in Uganda and surrounding areas and have been for quite some time. One thing that I find disappointing was how many friends had not heard of what was going on. And additionally had not cared to do any additional research further then simply watching the video. Despite my knowledge of the situation I did more research, particularly after a friend mentioned the Invisible Children as "shady", and sure enough, that was confirmed multiple times. The video is not entirely accurate as from the research I've been able to find, Kony has not been in Uganda for the past 5 years and has moved into surrounding areas, which in the video they only mention Uganda.
And the Advertising Scheme of the Invisible Children
I find it odd that the video was posted to You Tube rather then sending it to CNN, Fox or other large news channels. If I were to look for help in resolving a major issue I would target my elders, all of whom I know have not watched the Kony 2012 video and would be much more likely to respond to something in the news, rather then something posted through You Tube. The audience of You Tube are teens and young adults with little to no money and little to no knowledge of what's going on. So why target that audience? What's the benefit? Their lack of knowledge and understanding? I think so. Many people I know have watched the video, and then donated to Invisible Children, not bothering to do more research of better avenues where their money would be better used.
I particularly like this quote found in this article, "these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren't of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow."
It is so true. We really don't have much we can do to change what is happening.
But what really set me off was the product description for the Action Kit on their website; "People will think you’re an advocate of awesome." That right there shows who their target market is, teens and young adults. You should not be buying their kit for this reason, because that's the wrong reason entirely. If you are to donate, research on your own a organization who will be more worth while. I don't know for sure, but I have no doubt that the LDS church has some sort of hand there as well. Pay your tithing and fast offerings. You know that the church will put your money to proper use.
There is a lot more I could say on the topic, but my main point is be informed. It really is disappointing how many of my friends have no idea of what's going on in the world around them.
And I'm curious -- have you watched it? And how old are you? What about your parents, or aunts and uncles?
That's my ranting. The end.