If you read any newspaper or magazine or watch news shows, chances are you’ve recently heard about a viral video circulating the web protesting…

If you read any newspaper or magazine or watch news shows, chances are you’ve recently heard about a viral video circulating the web protesting child soldier recruiter and guerilla fighter Joseph Kony. The purpose of the video is essentially to raise awareness about Kony’s activities and to get people to contribute to organisations aiming to end the use of child soldiers. Recently, it seems almost half my high school has gotten on board with the effor t to stop Kony, and I think this is a pattern being repeated across the country. What really kills me about these sort of efforts to raise awareness is that they become “fad” causes. Sounds harsh? Does anybody remember, perhaps, the “Save Darfur” cause that became popular in mid-2000’s. Like the anti-Kony video, Save Darfur became a pretty publicized cause quickly, and suddenly everybody was wearing a “Save Darfur” t-shirt or bracelet, and later on liking it on the internet. The thing is, how many people who bought a t-shirt or liked it online could actually locate the Darfur region of Sudan on a map? How many continued to donate to the cause, and read about developments in the genocide for years after? My worry is that the anti-Kony and anti-LRA effort is going to garner attention not because people will actually start caring and become knowledgeabel about the situation in Uganda, but because it’s going to be popular. Popularity tends to be fleeting, knowledge is not.
– Ben

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