Stop Kony 2012 began picking up steam after notable celebrities began tweeting out the hashtag, #Kony2012. There is nothing like a social media boost from the likes of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Richie, Jessie J and Stephen Fry -- who together have over 35 million followers -- to shed light on the plight of the invisible children of Uganda.
Stop Kony 2012 was named after Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, or the LRA. The Lord's Resistance Army is a feared and brutal insurgency attempting to overthrow the Ugandan government. Kony and his army continue to threaten regional stability and civilian safety.
Kony formed the LRA in the 1980s as a sectarian military and religious group operating in Uganda with brute force. He claimed to be a prophet sent from God to purify the people of Uganda and to create a bastion of peace, according to globalsecurity.com. By putting emphasis on his religious powers, Kony has been able to convince many individuals who may be skeptical and his authority is hard to question, according to CNN.
The LRA teamed up with the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) and other rebel groups to begin a trail of violence and terror. The LRA committed numerous abuses and atrocities, including the abduction, rape, maiming, and killing of civilians, including children, reports globalsecurity.org. Since September 2008, the LRA has killed approximately 2,400 civilians and has abducted 3,400, according to the Human Rights Watch group and the U.N.
The kidnapping of children is one of the most troubling aspects of Kony's army. The Lord's Resistance Army is known for its abuse against children and use of forced child soldiers. The insurgency has abducted numerous youngsters and forced them into slavery, working as guards, concubines and soldiers, reports globalsecurity.org. Young girls were captured as sex and labor slaves, sold off, or given as gifts to arms dealers in Sudan.
A new 30-minute documentary entitled Kony 2012, made by the Invisible Children charity, highlights this horrific practice in Uganda. Its aim is to call for an international effort to arrest Joseph Kony, disarm the LRA and save the invisible children.
We seek to rebuild schools, educate future leaders and provide jobs in Northern Uganda. We are the motivated misfits and masses redefining what it means to be an activist, reads a statement on the Invisible Children Web site.
How to Help
There are many ways you can help the invisible children of Uganda and make a move to stop Kony and his brutal rebellion.
The Invisible Children charity offers multiple options to get involved. You can start your own page, to spread knowledge about the invisible children of Uganda and raise awareness. You can donate to supporting the expansion of the Invisible Children's Early Warning Radio Network and other projects in the Invisible Children's Protection Plan. You can also host a party to amp-up fundraising efforts. This party includes a screening of the Tony documentary.
The Invisible Children charity has raised $1,817,770 for the protection fund; it has foster 2,680 teams and it has over 45,000 participants.
You can also retweet the hashtags #Kony2012 and #StopKony to spread awarness to your Twitter friends and followers. With the hashtag, share the link to the Kony 2012 documentary.