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Carol Harnett

Chairperson, Health & Performance Innovation Institute

TEDCRED 100+

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How can the TED community help inform people about some of the issues associated with Kony 2012 & Invisible Children?

Maybe I've been under a rock somewhere but, until today, I had never heard of Joseph Kony. That was until I saw this YouTube video: http://youtu.be/Y4MnpzG5Sqc.

Kony 2012's mission is to make Joseph Kony famous by using social media and targeted famous people with reach. Their hope is that by making Kony famous, he will be captured and brought to justice.

It's been brought to my attention that there are questions around how "Kony 2012" and Invisible Children are using the money they're raising. That said, they're creating momentum. How do we capitalize on that and bring awareness to a global audience about the issues in central Africa?

This is an effort that the TED community can support - to spread the word and to inform about qualified non-profits that are trying to help.

I believe this is an idea worth spreading.

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    Mar 8 2012: While the video is touching and spreading awareness about Kony is an admirable thing to do, Invisible Children is an organization that you should read up on a little bit before supporting. Take a quick look at this: http://tumblr.thedailywh.at/post/18909727859/on-kony-2012-i-honestly-wanted-to-stay-as-far
    There are many, many organizations that are trying to support Uganda, and while Invisible Children might be getting the most media coverage right now, donating through a nonprofit might make more of an impact.
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      Mar 8 2012: Kathryn,

      You are right. I should have done my homework before blindly supporting the non-profit organization "Invisible Children Inc." I friend share with me this article:
      http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/07/guest_post_joseph_kony_is_not_in_uganda_and_other_complicated_things
      It is very informative and puts in perpective the whole picture of what is happening in Uganda, where Kony is not the only bad thing that is going on. There are more social problems that need to be taken care of, in order to truly help Uganda.
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        Mar 8 2012: Thanks for the article, Juan! I've been reading up on the Nodding Disease for the past few weeks, in particular. It seems to have been tied to a parasite common in the same regions as the disease, but a lot more research needs to go into this so we can treat the disease instead of the symptoms. Thanks again!
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      Mar 8 2012: Thank you for the information, Kathryn. As Juan said, I should have done my homework.

      Perhaps something worth considering is to use the momentum created by Kony 2012 to spread the word about Joseph Kony.

      So, maybe the idea should be, how do we spread the word about Joseph Kony without attaching ourselves to a questionable non-profit?
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        Mar 8 2012: I currently attend Michigan State University, and a fellow student organized a 'Cover the Night' event for my campus. I intend to take part in the event and distribute fliers and the like to raise awareness about Kony, but instead of following the "KONY 2012" format, I'm going to provide information that directs participants to other organizations that are trying to help. While I have shared the video on several social networks, I have also shared the links including information on Invisible Children and why alternative actions may produce better outcomes. We can use the popularity of this cause to draw attention to other organizations, too.
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          Mar 9 2012: That's terrific. It's a great way to use the momentum of Kony 2012 while directing participants to other organizations.
        • Mar 12 2012: Great idea indeed Kathryn. I am currently trying to encourage people in Denmark to spread the message about Kony to raise awareness of the area and it's problems, and to create a debate about the rather troubled campaign that Kony2012 turned out to be. If possible I would very much like to know what other organizations you have found, that do charity work in the area. A lot of people are getting rather upset and discouraged about the Kony campaign because of it's failure to send a clear and truthful message. So it is having the direct opposite effect of what was intended - at least in the community that I am involved with. So - it would be great to hear what you have found in your research about other NGOs!

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