I used to do a lot of fundraising to help support children and families that had been affected by the LRA and the utter mess of child soldiers, systematic rape and political tensions in the area. Any raising of awareness is a good thing but I would definitely second the call to research where your money is going if you want to donate. Make sure the organisation you fund is one that shares your beliefs about how to solve a problem, not just that something is indeed, a problem.
Don’t jump on a bandwagon, no matter how good the cause unless you really understand the issues being discussed. That’s my rule.
Yesterday my inbox was flooded with people asking me to post Invisible Children’s latest video calling for the capture of Joseph Kony. I don’t automatically post things like this just because everyone else is doing it. My gut was telling me there was more to this and I better do some more research before advocating anything.
I’ve been pretty sick this past week and after discovering just how complicated this issue is, my fatigue has kept me from being able to properly wrap my brain around it.
The best I can tell, Kony is certainly evil. We should all be made aware of him and the horrors of child armies. However, whether or not Invisible Children should be the group spearheading this awareness is certainly in question. And by donating to their cause, you might be sending money to aid the Ugandan army.
This is problematic to me. The Ugandan government and their army seem to have a less than stellar reputation. In the past, we have given money, weapons, and training to foreign militaries only to end up fighting against those weapons we gave and those soldiers we trained.
I like the awareness aspect of the campaign, but the solution being proposed concerns me. I’ve always felt that building up infrastructure and improving education are more potent solutions than hunting down and killing villains.
I do hope Kony is captured and pays for his crimes. I do hope this campaign brings much awareness to the issue. But until I have a better understanding of the situation, I don’t think I can recommend donating to Invisible Children.
I do recommend doing your own research and deciding for yourself what is appropriate.
reblogged from Wil Wheaton
edit: this is what I was too lazy to scout for myself… it’s not fun to rip down an online movement coming from a good place but this particular organisation is perhaps not the shiniest of them out there.
This short article is well worth a read too, get informed then get angry. 🙂