I only watched half of the KONY 2012 video and had a few WTF! moments. The danger of a single story as Chimamada Adichie says. I’m a US based Kenyan and have lived in Eastern Uganda for the last 9 months (clearly I don’t know a lot) but I will share MY thoughts and pictures and what I have seen here in regards to the Children in Uganda since from what I saw on the Invisible Childrens promo, only Jacob, who could clearly speak good english but had to be subtitled seemed to represent the UG kids. And since when did Uganda become part of Central Africa? Eish.
1. Kony is NOT in Uganda anymore. There haven’t been killings, child abductions in the last few years. Northern Uganda is recovering, rebuilding, reintegrating and rehabilitating the residents of the area. Starting with the GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA and a bee-hive of NGOs working in the area.
2. There is a disease affecting children from Northern Uganda (where Kony is from and did the horrible acts). No one really knows what it is and so far about 200 kids have died. It’s called nodding disease. Last week friday, the area MP Beatrice Anywar transported 25 children to Mulago Hospital in Kampala (that has more resources, specialized doctors etc) along with their parents/ guardians. In the news 2 days ago, The UGANDA Minister of Health says money from the Malaria Campaign earmarked for April 2012 has been diverted to treatment and research of nodding cases, pending the Government providing more funds.
So, these kids, from Nothern Uganda – are VISIBLE and being taken care of by their own government and community. Even M7 passed by the hospital to see the kids.
Did the folk over at Invisible Children mention this disease in the remaining 15minute clip I didn’t watch? Or how they can use part of the mucho money from their campaign (which is brilliant marketing strategy) to tackle CURRENT issues on the ground? Like getting these kids medical treatment?
3. Most NGOs working in Uganda HIRE LOCAL TALENT! I’m doing my graduate school project with Heifer International. Even their staff in the US is a nice skittles mix of Americans and people from the area they are serving. The Africa regional staff at HQ has AFRICANS. I’m pretty sure having worked for 9years in UG, the founder of Invisible Children could have gotten 1 well educated Ugandan in US to be part of their staff and brought a much needed voice to the little
fundraising let us SAVE..wait, let me show my son how Daddy can SAVE AFRICA from the bad guy.
4. There is an ad that comes on local channels (UBC, Step TV) that has this annoying green frog but the message is how Ugandan teachers, parents and community members can stop violence against children. It’s so cheesy but I remember it so it gets the point across. The campaign is by Raising Voices
5. The kids in Uganda might not all have shoes or a closet full of clothes or 3 meals a day or safe drinking water…but they sure are HAPPY kids. And they love dancing. And they hang out with strangers and smile. And they go to school. And they speak ‘good’ english. And their parents are Doctors and farmers and teachers and businessmen and fishermen and florists and hairdressers and fantastic cooks. I mean – can someone at least show their US audience a different face of Africa within their 30 minute clip. Like the airport they landed in? The hotel they might stay in and pay $300 a night in Kampala (that is 10 action kits). The ever green and beautiful Uganda that the future generation deserves to find intact. Anyway, since y’all didn’t get a chance to see that side of the story, here you go.
PS: Oil was recently discovered in Uganda..and drilling starts soon! And we know how that story
US interest normally goes.
PPS: When does that Kony campaign “expire” again? (read: NGOs close their financial books on December 31st)
THE VISIBLE CHILDREN OF UGANDA!
Around Uganda..for those who only see or show worn-torn, HIV/Aids, corruption, full of disease kinda media stories.
OMG! Like really? They have cars over there? And swimming pools? You know, in the country of Africa? OMG!!!
and eat real good, healthy, fresh, organically grown food
and Ugandans come up with simple, local resource available ways to tackle issues like sanitation
The list goes on and on about Uganda and other countries in Africa not just being a basket case awaiting “HELP” from the West.
And hopefully we are given room to raise our voices (plus have our voice invited and listened to), tell our own stories, handle our own damn issues and resources.
Oh…the kids show up at community events and dance away.
Don’t get it twisted, the children in Uganda are very loved and cared for in Uganda..starting with the people of Uganda and it’s Government.
’Until the lion learns to speak, the tales of hunting will always favor the hunter!’ Truth via @Knaan
March 14th: Norther Ugandans react with anger to viral video screening in Lira
March 10th: One avenue to help
Rosebell Kagumire, a journalist from Uganda, sheds more light on the current nodding disease, ways you can reach out to a CURRENT and URGENT need for Northern Uganda children. For more info: http://networkedblogs.com/uZkNW
Her twitter her twitter updates: @RosebellK