no because untrained, naive, well-off white kids running off to save (read: exploit) africa is p. much everything that has been wrong with this world for centuries.
my children have been raised to understand that, while awareness of what is going on in the rest of the world is good, if people truly want to effect social change there are problems right in their own communities, where they ARE experts, where they DO understand all the myriad forces at play in the situation, that they can take on and challenge themselves with and cause real positive change in the world. there are homeless families here on the streets of america. there are women and children being forced into sexual and other slavery right here in the us every day in suburban communities in every city. there are children being recruited as members in armies right here on our own streets, who also have their parents gunned down to perpetuate the war of attrition on these communities. they don't need to go running off halfway around the world, with no training to actually HELP the situation, just to make already over-strapped communities expend resources to support these kids (language translation, help with procedures and bureaucracy, sometimes actual physical or medical help when kids end up injured, in danger, etc to name just a few) that are better spent elsewhere. and like, even if you DO decide to do that, try researching the situation a little more? kony has been out of uganda for years now. he is down to only a couple hundred guys and running around the DRC. Ugandan army and US Sp.Forces guys are already on the ground there trying to corner him. there has been a joint operation going on there for years. it's a pretty big jungle tho, and he has lots of hostages, so it's not like we can just drop a couple bombs and call it a day. this stuff has to be done with actual leg work, was re: it's a jungle. what exactly are we going to send over there to assist with that? a bunch of kids to run around the jungle they know nothing about, so they can get malaria, and need to be helicoptered out?
i am always wary of a movement that provides little more than a couple of iconic bracelets, slickly designed t-shirts, and well produced documentaries short on real details of what exactly the goals AND details are of exactly how they are planning to "change" the situation. where is this money going? what exactly are their plans to hunt down kony? "give us money! put this shirt on and pretend you helped change something! pay no attention while nothing actually changes because we have no idea wtf we are doing!" raising awareness: good idea. giving money haplessly, or otherwise supporting an organization with nebulous methods for spending that money: probably not a good idea. however i would be more than happy if they called obama and told him that they supported him sending another contingent of troops there a few years ago, and if he wants to deploy more troops to the joint operation headed by the ugandan army, that they would also support that. and then call their representatives and reiterate that.
also not for profit doesn't mean someone is not making a profit. the filmmaker appears to be earning a fairly comfy salary from the NPO he runs if his living quarters are anything to go by. NPO just means that the company itself does not turn a profit, and that it is not publicly tradable. in return for this they get certain tax statuses that exempt them from certain kinds of tax withholdings on donations, etc (ie, they get special permissions to make more money). as a member of the san francisco bay area, which is ground zero for most NPOS per capita, i am well aware that NPO exec org has no problem giving themselves 6 figure salaries while actually processing through 3% of donations to the cause in need.
obviously i have a lot of feelings about this.
i have a lot more things to say about this. about how NPOs run by naive americans with messiah complexes often think they are VITAL to the process of change when really they end up adding another layer of bureaucracy and obfuscation to the causes they are trying to help. about how uncomfortable it is to watch that video for me, a bunch of muddling kids running around a terrible situation they are obviously clueless about, playing atrocity voyeur while actual aid workers from the community repeatedly ask them to turn off their cameras and leave because they are hurting the process of helping people. about how dangerous unchecked foreign aid can be for a region, how well-meaning but bumbling npos can cause wide swaths of devastation in the areas they are trying to help, and how many of the people of uganda have called out for a movement to head towards ENDING reliance on foreign aid instead of asking for more. about how if people were ranting about this npo back in 2006 why it's been over a decade and they are still employing, literally, the same tactics towards no change personally effected by them. but anyway i don't have time. so: awareness is good. kony is DEFINITELY bad. but i think calling your reps to say send more troops would help a ton more than giving these guys money so the filmmaker can indulge his savior of the world megalomania complex.
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