Save Africa. First Step is Kony?

< I’m back again, with a few things to talk about, so you viewers can look out for at least a few posts during the next few days. For the past few days, every where I go, there has been talks of Kony 2012, Invisible Children, and Tri. If you have noticed, I did put up the link to the video yesterday, and if you have not checked it out already, please do so. I will be talking about some of the opinion I have about the whole issue of child soldiers, Kony 2012, the video itself, and what messages came across to me as an individual. >

To start, the Kony 2012 video was very inspiring and moved me in many ways. It stirred something in me. It awoke an interest of the situation in Africa. The reiteration of how armies and militas in the African continent use children as soldiers, and the terrible living conditions in Africa has led me to realize that Africa is in need of more help than we think. The illiteracy, kidnapping of children, and how the government lacks power has led me to wonder what has caused Africa to become such a state. The answer lies in the colonial era in the late 1800s and early 1900s. When the Western powers began taking control of the African continent they began creating colonies ignoring naturally existing borders. After the Western government exited Africa, there was no proper government infrastructure for the locals to take over. Because of the actions taken by the Western nations in the colonial era, there have been civil wars between political and ethnic groups aiming to take control of nations. This is what also caused the creation of the Lord’s Resistance Army and Joseph Kony. The only way to help Africa develop out of this chaos created by Western governments centuries ago is through foreign aid. However, the foreign aid must be provided through a collaborative effort between the multiple charity and service organizations.

Although the Kony video spread awareness and led me to realize the importance of ‘saving’ Africa, there are issues pertaining to it. One of the most important problem of the video is the shadiness of the organization itself. Tri and Invisible Children are known to be shady organizations, as their CEOs receive more than twice the amount of money that other charity CEOs receive. Of course, the organization has released data pertaining to its money usage ‘clearing’ up its ‘misunderstandings’, however the organization’s statistics can never be trusted, and there always needs to be a third party in charge of ensuring its transparency. In addition to that, the video itself only gives a one side view on the issues in Africa. Its main focus is Kony, and it sheds light on child soldiers. However, the way the video portrayed Kony was that through his arrest, the whole of Africa may become stabilized. This one sideness of documentaries are what misleads viewers to believe that saving Africa is a single step process, not a multi-step process. Furthermore, the video encourages military intervention by America. Although America is a very well developed country with many military advances, this international issue should not be under taken by one nation. It should be a global approach, with more thought put in on how we could extract Joseph Kony from Africa.

In conclusion, the Kony 2012 video is only good for one purpose. How quickly and effectively it can spread awareness about the dire issue of child soldiers. Besides spreading awareness, the Kony video is misleading and encourages donations to a shady organization. Even if Tri and Invisible Children aren’t as shady as we perceive it, it would be better to donate to more well-known, established, and transparent organizations such as UNICEF, International Rescue Committee, and doctors without borders.


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