If you have yet to hear who Joseph Kony is, I suggest you start a google search now. Joseph Kony is a Ugandian guerrilla group leader and is head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a group engaged in a violent campaign to establish theocratic government based on the Ten Commandments throughout Uganda.
Directed by Kony, the LRA has earned a reputation for abducting and forcing an estimated number of 66,000 children to fight for them and forcing the internal displacement of over 2,000,000 people. But what many fail to realize is that Kony not only abducts these children, but forces many girls to become sex slaves while the boys are forced to deal with guns. Many children have been forced to not only kill friends and family members but to mutilate their faces as well. Many in the LRA ranks have been taken against their will and the vast majority of those fighting, find life within the LRA brutally difficult. While amnesty is attainable and mechanisms are in place to receive former combatants, the fear of rejection at home or being killed in the process of surrender keep many individuals from trying to escape the LRA ranks.
The invisible children protection plan movement was developed by a team of film-makers who had ventured forth into Africa in search of newsworthy stories. Since then, they have gone on to not only create films as such but they have also developed a movement that seeks to advocate the repressed, protect the communities, provide rehabilitation, family reunification and promote the arrest of Joseph Kony. Beginning in Washington, this movement has since spread worldwide with many countries advocating the cause. The aim of the movement was to not only create awareness but to provide a platform for governments to realize that such an issue is ongoing and that there is reason to continue with the funding of troops into Uganda to educate the Ugandian army in stopping Kony in his tracks.
Since then, the invisible children protection plan has gone on to develop the early warning radio network that seeks to alert surrounding communities or security forces of LRA movement or attacks hence limiting the LRA’s ability to move from town to town undeterred. But this is only the beginning. On the 20th of April 2012, Kony 2012 crews will hit the streets to set up posters, with hopes of grabbing national attention to the issue and hopefully to arrest Kony by the end of 2012. You too can play your part by donating to the movement by signing up with the Kony 2012 Night Sweep in Singapore via Facebook or simply by spreading the message and video around.
Though we might be thousands of miles away but the children in Uganda need your voice! So let’s make a difference this 2012. Let’s stop Kony!
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– Deborah Foo
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