Call to Action

March 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week has been an extraordinary one with the Invisible Children KONY 2012 Campaign going viral. There were news reports each day of the tens of millions of people who had viewed the video and discussions, both amongst school students, workmates, friends and family and also online about who is this man Kony and interest in and scrutiny of the Invisible Children organisation. Many people have expressed strong views about the various issues but I believe that all can agree that each of us as humans, regardless of where we live, deserve the right of safety and security in our lives. There are obviously many areas of our world where this is not the case and we should continue to work as a global village to build awareness and positive action towards this goal.

Having lived in Uganda in 2004/05 and revisited last year, I have witnessed first hand and heard the impact that Joseph Kony and the LRA has had in various areas of the country and neighbouring countries in the region. I was shocked when living in Kampala as I began to realise the full extent of the war that was being waged over many years in Uganda, and the lack of mainstream awareness in the rest of the world to the atrocities that continued to occur. Speaking to Ugandans, reading books about what had happened and meeting the Invisible Children guys while they were in Uganda filming seemed to not represent the peaceful existence that I was experiencing in the capital and travelling around East Africa compared to the lives of those in the North. Watching the Invisible Children Rough Cut Film, all those years ago and more recently, continues to be a powerful reminder that our shared humanity is at stake when we allow certain issues to remain silent.

Last year I visited Gulu, the Northern Ugandan town, and met with the Invisible Children staff at their office to hear about life since Kony being driven out of Uganda and the continued rehabilitation of those affected by the long war that ravaged that part of the country. I came away from that visit and others in the Northern town of Soroti hopeful that there would be continued healing in the region, through the amazing resilience of the people and the combined efforts of all the organisations empowering individuals and families through education, income generation, health, entrepreneurship, etc. Many in the developed world can take for granted the opportunities and services that exist for individuals in communities that we live in, compared to those within countries like Uganda. This is where a video that sparks the discussion that we have seen this week can be so powerful, opening a dialogue that can build greater awareness and appreciation for connection between our global village of seven billion human beings.

I hope that individuals are able to watch the video and make decisions for themselves about how they can use this information to be more informed, connected and empowered within their daily thoughts and actions. Finding authentic ways to make a positive difference in your own life, the life of others and the world around us is a continued journey.

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