Friday, October 4, 2013

Put a stop to LRA! ZeroLRA...Help do so with Invisible Children

Do you remember this last year "KONY 2012" the popular documentary produced by 'Invisible Children' to promote their fight against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

Wondering what the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is? It is a rebel group that started in Uganda since 1986. It was created and led by Joseph Kony. It is said to be one of the most dangerous rebel groups in the world. Young children are kidnapped and forced to join and they are trained to commit different atrocities such as rape, kidnap and of course killing.. The LRA group today does not only exist in Uganda but also in other countries such as Sudan and Congo.

Invisible Children is a non profit organization that has been in existence since 2004, continuing to make you and I aware of this group (LRA) and its activities and help fight against it to bring an end to this.

Interview with Ray Childs of Invisible Children

Tell us a brief summary of how Invisible Children started

In March of 2003, Invisible Children’s three founders Jason, Laren, and Bobby took a trip to East Africa and brought along their cameras. It was there they came across the LRA crisis in northern Uganda and felt compelled to share its hidden story with the world. Invisible Children Inc. was officially founded in September of 2004.  
Invisible Children: The Rough Cut (2004)Invisible Children Film - The Rough Cut (click here)
What specifically is the goal(s) of Invisible Children?

 Invisible Children exists to put a permanent end to LRA violence. We use an integrated four-part model that includes media, mobilization, protection, and recovery to address the conflict in its entirety. Our latest campaign #zeroLRA is working to see zero abductions, killings, and zero war.
Unfortunately, it is quite a big task getting people aware and/or involved in solving such conflicts and organizations. Last year your organization made the Kony documentary video which was named by Times as one of the most viral videos ever. It made many people aware of not only your organization but also aware of the Lord’s Resistance Army LRA. There were many wearing Tshirts with ‘Kony 2012” and some even changed their social media pictures to Kony 2012. Apart from this and other similar videos, how do you make people aware of your organization as well as the LRA conflict?

 Invisible Children believes strongly in embracing the ever-expanding communication world that we live in today. We reach out to supporters across various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The mobilization part of our model consists of various programs. Artist Relations, for example, partners with rising musicians and culture-makers in order to introduce new audiences to the conflict. Our national tour, a cornerstone of mobilization, unites unpaid interns called “Roadies”, and Ugandan speakers to schools and communities across the country through screenings in order to spread awareness of the strong role students can play in ending the LRA violence. In August of 2011 and 2013, Invisible Children hosted Fourth Estate Leadership Summits designed to equip attendees (with an average age of 16) the skills to make a difference in both their local and global communities.  Political advocacy is also crucial to mobilization, and so we provide opportunities for engagement amongst young people and their political leaders. There have been approximately 926 local lobby meetings facilitated since 2008. Also, international events are also a major way in which Invisible Children raises awareness, rallying the youth to bring attention to the LRA conflict.

In the opinion of ‘Invisible Children” how can this conflict be resolved? And is there a possible end to this?

 Yes, we believe the LRA conflict can be ended permanently and through our approach we have seen dramatic success. From 2011 to 2012, LRA civilian killings dropped by 67%, and 89% of LRA escapes credit "come home" messaging as the reason they attempted escape. We think that this comprehensive approach will contribute to a permanent end to the LRA and lasting peace.

View the comprehensive approach here: Invisible Children Comprehensive approach (click here)
On 'come home" messaging: Click here for "come home" message

 Children are the future. Most children at a young age wake up each day eager to go out and have fun with their friends, at the park..outside. They dream of becoming doctors, basketball players...Having little kids being kidnapped and being forced to commit such awful acts, placing deadly weapons in their hands and training them to kill is killing their innocence, killing the chance they have to have those beautiful dreams. Should a child be a "child" or be a killer

Last year Kony 2012 was widely spread and it brought awareness to the I urge you to join Invisible Children and continue to spread the word..spread the fight against the LRA..

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