Kony 2012 was by most accounts an overwhelming success as far as online fundraising campaigns go. Millions of dollars raised, tens of millions of new viewers exposed to the work of Invisible Children, Joseph Kony was back in the news, and Invisible Children could finally have their say on the subject. Kony twenty-twelve would be on the lips of every social media junky worth their klout.
However, as the artificial deadline for his capture passed it became painfully obvious that what was missing was a cogent strategy on how to help those most affected by Kony’s war, the children. It can hardly be contested that Kony 2012 brought the discussion of Uganda’s child warfare back to the forefront, but was discussion enough to survive 2 or 3 news cycles?
As the conversation turned inward and the credibility of Invisible Children came in to question keen observers began to seek the opinion of Ugandans on how best to help, of all things, Uganda. As the voice of recovery and reconciliation on the ground in Uganda Okello Sam, founder of Hope North, a school for former child soldiers and orphans, was asked by RT’s Thom Hartmann for his response to Kony 2012.
Speaking from Kampala, Uganda, and joined by Mary-Louise Parker in NYC, Okello explained that while he’d like to see Kony captured the more challenging hurtle will continue to be the long term recovery of the thousands of youth whose lives were shattered through their participation in Kony’s war. Together the two explain that the only valid response to Kony in 2012 is the message of hope, Hope 2012.