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Invisible Children charity show how people power can make a difference

Monday 12th March 2012

Kony 2012 shows just how positive people power can work wonders across the world, addressing vital issues in Africa.

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This past week another viral phenomenon took place, but not to glorify any pre-teen pop star or the latest ageing everyman who rocked an audition on a talent show. This time it was something that has been going on behind the scenes for many years, that people have turned a blind eye to all over the world. Jason Russell, an American filmmaker, posted the video on YouTube and has since received over seventy million views worldwide. The video documents the atrocities that Joseph Kony has committed in the last thirty years, assembling his own army of child-soldiers and slaves, and highlights the fact that Kony was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005, but has since evaded capture. The video also outlines the plan from the Invisible Children charity, which is to make Kony ‘famous’ due to his notoriety and with the aim of getting people to petition for his arrest. The thirty minute video shows the work that Invisible Children aim to do to raise awareness of Joseph Kony, including coating large cities with posters and banners on April 20th 2012. The sheer volume and wide-ranging nature of this campaign shows incredible ambition and innovation, as well as just what people can do if we put our minds together.

This could just be the beginning, though. This latest internet phenomenon is being used for the greater good, and just goes to show how much power social media holds, but it shouldn’t just end there. Africa as a continent has many problems that are still in dire need of a solution, but it won’t come quickly. The problems in Uganda alone will not end with the capture of Joseph Kony. That is where other volunteer organisations come in. It won’t be a one-man, or one-company job. Endless, tireless efforts from each organisation in each part of Africa, addressing a mountain of problems, over many years, will steadily reduce the problems of the unfortunate continent. Gap year students have now been visiting poor African countries for many years, helping small communities with basic necessities such as providing clean water and building schools and houses. If that doesn’t sound like something you would like to do, maybe you could coach sports in a less-developed area, working with children as a mentor and teacher.

Kony 2012 could be a catalyst for further campaigns and efforts just like it, but doesn’t point to a quick fix. The work will continue day-in, day-out for years to come, and you could be a part of that. Check out our African destination page as well as our volunteer page for ideas of what you can do to make a difference on your year out.

 
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