There is a good chance you’ve recently seen, or at least heard about, the Kony 2012 video. It’s part of an effort by a group called Invisible Children, to raise awareness about the evil doings (and I think we can use the word evil here) of Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army, a group that terrorized the people of Uganda for many years. In fact, though the video has gone viral recently, the LRA has been active since the 80s, and the situation in Northern Uganda actually began improving around 2006.
Everyone seems to agree that it’s an incredibly powerful piece, and that it’s a great thing that people are finally paying attention to this part of the world. However, there has been some controversy about the actions called for in the video and about whether this organization is the best one to donate to.
What to do if your kids see it or hear about it and want to help?
First, you might consider a trip to World Vision headquarters in Federal Way. Just outside their door is an interactive visitors’ center that takes you through some of what life is like for children in Africa. It’s free, and I think it would be a great, educational opportunity for kids old enough to appreciate it.
World Vision has been working in this part of the world for many years, and also has some specific suggestions for how to help children there. World Vision is a Christian organization, so if that doesn’t fit with your faith traditions, you might consider another one. I’ll have a post later in the week with some suggestions.
Finally, your kiddos should know that Africa is a big, big place full of many different countries and cultures. Younger kids will enjoy the PBS site Africa for Kids