KONY project not the best way to help

On March 5, the Invisible Children Inc. posted a video on YouTube titled “KONY 2012” and has already reached almost 12 million views. In the video’s producers explain how Joseph Kony is the most wanted war criminal throughout the world. His group, the Lord’s Resistance Army kidnaps children in the night and turns them into soldiers or sex slaves in Uganda, and the Invisible Children’s Inc., a non-profit organization wants to make him famous and have him arrested.

There’s no doubt in my mind that this man needs to be captured and tried as a war criminal, but the problem here is the organization that so many people are blindly following. I myself am guilty of blindly supporting this group. The documentary they made is very inspiring, and at one point during the 29-minute video I started to tear up because I was so moved by what I was watching. The problem I have with this organization is how the money it has been raising is being distributed and its tactics for solving the problems Joseph Kony has created.

The Invisible Children spent $8.7 million last year, and out of all that money 32 percent of it went to direct services to help Kony’s victims and attempts to stop him. The rest of the money went to the personal salaries of the staff members, film production and travel. One of the co-founders and narrator of the documentary made $89,699 last year.

Another issue I have with the organization is its tactics for getting rid of Kony and his ways, through use of the military. In the “KONY 2012” documentary they narrator Jason Russell explains how the organization has already influenced the U.S. government to deploy 100 troops to Uganda to train Ugandan troops so they can capture Kony. Uganda’s government itself is known to be quite corrupt, and commit the same heinous crimes as Kony, so by giving Uganda military support Invisible Children would be aiding the corruption that is aiding actions similar to Kony. There are many other non-profit organizations that work in Uganda with the same goals of aiding the victims, but they put more money into it than Invisible Children does. The organization has good intentions but a greedy way of “helping” people. My suggestions for anyone whose heard about this story is to do some research, get multiple perspectives, then decide where your support lies and form your own opinions.

Rachel Kershaw, junior