I’m not gonna bother explaining what it is as most of you have probably seen the video along with counter-arguments all over social networking sites.
There’s no denying that is another campaign determined to end suffering in a third world country, and that’s great. The cause is a great one. The difference in this organisation’s case is that people are taking notice, and for me it’s for the wrong reasons.
Nearly every day on the TV you’ll see Oxfam, WaterAid, Save the Children adverts etc. etc. and let’s be honest, we don’t bat an eyelid. So why has the Kony project attracted so much attention? Because as soon as it’s on the internet with Mumford & Sons and Flux Pavilion in the background with some nice visual effects and a cute story about the dude’s son, it’s attractive and (I don’t really wanna say it) cool to support the cause. The whole covering the city in one night thing is a good idea in theory but it’s also a cool idea. I definitely seemed to think so. Now I’m not denying that people genuinely do want to make a change but there is a need to consider that you can’t believe everything that’s said in one half hour video.
I’ve read in a few blog posts (which I’ll post at the end) that the organisation spent over $8m last year and only 32% of which was spent directly. Surely the rest doesn’t need to be spent on fancy moviemaking equipment, countless flights back and forth; not to mention the salaries? I heard that their founder takes home 98 grand a year. Surely there’s no need for that. Needless to say this doesn’t only happen with this NGO, it happens with loads of other charities as well. Administration costs go through the roof. I was speaking to my friend Nathan just now and we were talking about the cost of running things like Comic Relief and Children in Need. Of course, you need to spend money to make money (in raising awareness etc.) but I don’t know, it’s not so sweet. I’m not sure whether every penny does actually count.
I can’t say I’m for or against the Kony 2012 project though. The concept as a whole is a good one, despite the apparent fact that Kony has “surrendered” or ceased his action, rather. It goes without saying that Uganda is a country riddled with corruption; in its government and in some of its people, therefore helping out their military is a move which I don’t really know if I agree with. Check out this photo of members of the project posing with the milita and you’ll see why. Their action in providing schools for children is awesome and it’s good to see that communities have been built. The one thing I’m not sure about is what they plan on doing in regards to Kony after they succeed in their mission of arresting him. What do they want? Sure, they want to make him a household name, and yeah, what he’s done has been sick. It’s a tad vague though. If he’s stopped what he’s doing, he still does indeed to be punished for his actions but I don’t think Invisible Children needs to be so vindictive.
Being honest here, upon watching the video for the first time, I did kinda feel the need to want to jump up and down and want to spread the word etc., and that’s partly because everyone else did. Despite that, I still had a niggling feeling that things weren’t clear enough and felt a little uncomfortable and I wasn’t entirely sure why. Maybe I was being too cynical as I’ve always had this view that indirect charity is just fat-cats doing their so-called good because I couldn’t see where every penny went. My suspicions were confirmed today when I read a few blogs providing some more information that the 27 minute video had failed to cover.
Anyway, that’s just a view (a little fragmented but there we have it). I just recommend looking at both sides of the argument. I’ve not expanded on many points as they’re all in the links below which express them more fluently! (I won’t post any more on the subject, don’t worry!) Have a good evening!