A call for justice

By Julia Myers

Invisible Children is a non-profit organization working to end Africa’s longest-running war and bring Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, to justice.

The program will be on campus Wednesday to premiere its newest film, “KONY 2012.”

Invisible Children was established in 2005 by three young filmmakers who traveled to Africa in search of a story.

After learning about Kony and the ongoing war, they made it their mission to educate as many minds as possible. They have since reached millions of people through their films.

Kony and his army have been abducting children across Central Africa for 26 years.

Since his reign, Kony has abducted more than 30,000 children using ruthless tactics.

Kilara Bazilo, known by his friends as Tony, is a 23-year-old Ugandan who has seen the effects of this war firsthand.

Bazilo’s life has been featured in several of Invisible Children’s films. He remembers walking 10 miles every night to the city center to seek safety from the LRA.

“Every night I used to walk in the rain in fear of the LRA,” Bazilo said. “People’s lips, ears and noses were being cut off and so many kids were killed and young girls were given to rebel commanders.”

A group of five interns, known as “roadies,” are screening the film Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Odong Kizito, an advocate from Northern Uganda, traveled to Kentucky to speak about his personal experiences with the LRA.

Kizito will share his story and answer questions about growing up in war-torn Uganda.

Kizito said he wants students to attend the screening and educate themselves about the conflict taking place in Central Africa.

“Give a little bit of your time, talk to everyone possible about Joseph Kony and let the world know about his atrocities,” he said. “I seriously hope to see Kony arrested and the LRA brought to a final end this year.”

Dyanna Jaye, also an Invisible Children intern, said that this tour, KONY 2012, is drastically different from any tour the organization has done.

“Our campaign is heavily focused on advocacy and awareness and we are striving to make the leader of the rebel army terrorizing Central Africa, Joseph Kony, famous as the world’s worse war criminal,” Jaye said. “In ‘KONY 2012,’ we will stop at nothing to finally bring peace to Central Africa.”

The “KONY 2012” film will update viewers of the progress made to end Africa’s longest-running war and will explain how to be a part of bringing Kony to justice.

Merchandise, including T-shirts, DVDs and bracelets, will be available for purchase at the end of the screening.

Brooke Davies, a kinesiology junior, has been involved with Invisible Children for two years and helped plan the screening.

She encourages students to attend the screening. “I want to challenge the students of UK to consider their own lives and realize that they are capable of contributing to a movement that is helping people who need it,” Davies said.

Just adding in some food for thought:
Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. This is far from ideal for an issue which arguably needs action and aid, not awareness, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they lack an external audit committee. But it goes way deeper than that.

People supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.

So, do a little reading, follow the links to the various reports and citations, and make an informed choice on where you send your dollars. http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/

Ariel and Sandra:

So awesome to hear you all want to help out! This is what KONY 2012 is all about- inspiring people to want to end this war. we have the power to make a difference. I would love to talk to each of you about how you can get involved.

Please email me at juliamarie2@Hotmail.com, or contact me on Facebook, and we can talk in detail.

If you haven’t already, watch KONY2012, and get everyone you know to watch it. above all else, make him famous! go to Kony2012.com for details, and to watch the film.

I hope to hear from you both!

Julia Myers

I am a 13 year old who is going to try to get my school to help I want to raise money but if I raise money where can I send it to help please I need to know I want to help and stop this

I want to know how I can help and if there is a chapter, group or other organization in the Louisville area that I can help out. I have a lot of ideas on how to help spread the word and would like to help. Thank you Sandra