While visiting Uganda many times in the early years of this century, I first began to hear about Joseph Kony. Once when I was going out to Busia, we had to change plans because he and his Lord’s Resistance Army were nearby, supposedly. Another time I spent a few days in Lira in Northern Uganda, visiting camps where some very traumatised people were afraid to return to their villages – at least at night. Here are two photos from that trip.
Many people I spoke with in Kampala, and outside Uganda, wondered if Kony really existed; the people in those camps had no doubts. Their lives had been shattered.
So I’m glad to see the “Kony 2012” phenomenon, which I hope will help spur momentum towards the arrest of a man who’s done enormous harm. The world would be a better place with him sitting in the ICC with headphones on…
The internet sensation, with over 64 million Youtube views as of today, is something else. For a long time I’ve wondered if our INGOs are at risk of becoming dinosaurs, with social media and “clicktivism” the metaphorical meteor that will drive us into extinction. At the very least, we should pay close attention to the passion, skill, and success of “Kony 2012,” because it’s reaching people who want to make the world a better place.
There are legitimate questions to be asked about the campaign. But we would be wise to watch, and learn.