Last week, the video about number 1 on the list of war criminals, Joseph Kony, gave the talk on the internet. Despite the success, some experts questioned the suitability of the creative organization, Invisible Children. Ugandan residents and diplomats also criticized the NGO for presenting an incomplete version of the story. According to Associated Press, Timothy Kalyegira, a political scientist from Uganda, and Ogenga Latigo, an opposition politician, believe that the video does not bring the historical context and perspective presented by the organization very limited.
According to the experts, the video omits the fact that Kony’s group fought against the Ugandan army, which committed violent acts, and that the government of the country also committed genocide in search of the guerrilla leader. There is also information that suggests that the NGO has donated only a small part of the donations to the causes of that country. According to information from the academic and political science student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Grant Oyston, last year the organization spent more than $ 8 million and only 32% went to the African country. The rest, according to the socilogue, was spent on salaries, travel, transportation and film productions.
In addition, other controversies about the campaign were highlighted. Blogs, websites and Internet users from all over the world began to raise questions about the real purpose of the video. According to the website IB Times, for example, it is no coincidence that the documentary was broadcast precisely at the time when Uganda became one of the 50 largest oil producers in the world. The publication also suggests that the video is a justification for an American invasion.
“This conflict has existed for years and we have to ask ourselves why it appears now. I believe that these people have other goals that are not clear,” commented political analyst Nicholas Sengoba. He also recalls that Joseph Kony has been missing from the country since 2006 and, therefore, there would be no reason for this campaign to emerge months after Obama sent troops to Uganda.
In the face of criticism on the internet, Invisible Children posted on its website a series of explanations about your expenses and intentions, in addition to an explanatory video. According to the CEO, Ben Keesey, the organization is doing its best to be as transparent as possible and achieve its sole objective: to end the violence of the LRA (religious and military group operating in Uganda and in neighboring countries of Africa) permanently. and helping the world to build effective communities. Keesey further explained the NGO’s methods.
First, Invisible Children performs viral to connect people to LRA history, so after this step, they encourage people’s support and involvement. From there, they hope that Internet users will share the video with their leaders so that the international community can do more to end the violence. Finally, they develop programs to support citizens and countries with the help of local leaders.
“I feel very proud to lead Invisible Children in Uganda, because they want to invest in both local leadership and a long-term development program,” commented Jolly Okot, director of the NGO in the country.
Representatives of Invisible Children also said that they built the organization with the philosophy of ‘seeing is believing’ and that is why they were based on the media. “We never proclaimed a desire to ‘save Africa’, but, instead, an attempt to inspire Western youth to ‘do more than just see,” they concluded.
Regarding spending, the NGO published an infographic with all its financial statements for the past five years. According to the team, CI spent 80.46% of its revenue on support programs, 16.24% on administrative costs and 3.22% on direct fundraising in fiscal 2011.
See the Invisible Children response video below.