At around 2 p.m. on March 5, a filmmaker’s nonprofit group premiered its recent project to the world on YouTube. After just two days, the video had been viewed more than 8 million times. This documentary group had one goal with the video: to make Joseph Kony famous.
The 30-minute documentation, “Kony 2012,” reveals the shocking story of children in at least four central African countries who were previously forced to join Kony’s rebel army. According to the video, more than 20 years ago, Kony began building his young army and turning children against their parents, forcing them to murder their own mothers and fathers. The female children were used as sex slaves. Kony did not force these children into his army for a reward, he did it so he could keep his power.
The nonprofit group, Invisible Children Inc., created the video to raise awareness about the last 20 years of Kony’s atrocities. They hope viewers of the video share it with their friends, family, colleagues and peers and help make Kony’s name well-known bringing more attention to him and the government.
“For 26 years, Kony has been kidnapping children into his rebel group, the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers,” the video states. “He makes them mutilate people’s faces and he forces them to kill their own parents. And this is not just a few children. It’s been over 30,000 of them.”
Although Kony is no longer building a child army and has not been seen in years, Invisible Children Inc. felt this issue should still be publicized because Kony is listed high on the International Criminal Court’s most wanted list.
There have been, however, concerns online and throughout social media regarding the charity’s budget and spending.
A blog on Tumblr titled “Kony 2012, viewed critically” claims less than half of the money raised for the charity actually goes into action for finding Kony, which is the ultimate goal and purpose of the campaign “Kony 2012.”
There have also been several video responses to the viral video, some coming from previous or current residents of Uganda and surrounding countries, stating Kony is no longer an issue and the campaign is overdue.
Invisible Children and supporters plan to cover cities throughout the United States with Kony 2012 posters in April.
To view the video and learn more about the campaign, visit kony2012.com.