The Faceoff: Kony 2012

Invisible Children has recently faced criticism for their campaign Kony 2012. Their goal is for everyone in the world to know who Joseph Kony is, and to make it known to people in power that they want this man brought to justice. Invisible Children’s goal is for Joseph Kony to be apprehended by Dec. 31. Here are some common criticisms of the movement:

Kony is no longer operating his army in Uganda.

The Lord’s Resistance Army left Uganda in 2006, and since then has been committing his same atrocities in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic. Invisible Children recognizes that the LRA is no longer in Uganda but because they wanted Kony 2012 to reach people who are unfamiliar with Invisible Children, they needed to include the history of the conflict in the video, the majority of which takes place in Uganda.

Some claim the Ugandan army to be corrupt.

In October 2011, United States Special Forces were sent to aid the Ugandan army by providing them with the necessary training and technology to locate Joseph Kony. Invisible Children does not support the human rights abuses that the Ugandan army has committed. None of the money Invisible Children brings in goes to the Ugandan government. The Ugandan military, however, is the only army in the affected area that could feasibly become organized enough to apprehend Kony. They are not prepared to do this on their own and that is why U.S. forces were sent to help them. Invisible Children is not involved in any affairs of the Ugandan government aside from capturing Kony; they are working together to achieve their common goal of stopping Kony’s long reign of terror in Africa.

Most of Invisible Children’s money doesn’t even go to Africa.

Invisible Children has its finances audited every year by a private company in San Diego but recently they have been criticized because only about one-third of their profits actually make it to Africa – this is intentional. Invisible Children has three main goals: to make the world aware of the LRA through free documentary films, channel energy from supporters into large-scale advocacy campaigns and operate programs on the ground in LRA-affected areas that provide protection, rehabilitation and development assistance. They use about one-third of their profits to support each of these goals, and a very small amount of money for employees’ salaries.

If you want to explore different opinions or learn more about Kony 2012, look for information in credible sources, not places like Reddit. This organization was started by young people that wanted to do more than just watch. They have no reason to lie to the American or Ugandan people or their audience at large, because these are the very people they have so heavily depended on for support these last eight years. Invisible Children wants to bring us a better world: a world without Joseph Kony.