In a matter of one day the creators of the viral sensation “Kony 2012″ went from the darlings of the world to the subject of conspiracy due to aparent shady financials. The media is full of misguided comments relating to Invisible Children spending 68% of its funds on salary or travel. As if they are out lavishly spending millions from donations. People feel manipulated by their compelling documentary which lead them to donate to a cause they did not understand. Yet why are we so quick to judge this organization who only moments prior had moved us and awakened our hearts to their message?
Perhaps we are too easily guided and misguided. For starters a simple post from an university student claiming their financials were subject cause millions to take his claims as fact. And so the unraveling began. Each layer reveled facts which painted an even less pretty picture. A picture in which only 23% of the revenue went to rebuilding Uganda and the world was shocked, sucked into the web of deceit.
Oh how quick we are to loose sight of the message, to forget the intent of movement. Of course it did not take long for Invisible Children to step up and defend itself from the hungry wolves waiting to devour them. Perhaps the reason only 23% had gone directly to Uganda projects was beacause that was only one of Invisible Children s actually missions. Here are their 3 main missions:
- Make the world aware of the LRA. This includes making documentary films and touring them around the world so that they are seen for free by millions of people.
- Channel energy from viewers of IC films into large-scale advocacy campaigns to stop the LRA and protect civilians.
- Operate programs on the ground in LRA-affected areas that provide protection, rehabilitation and development assistance.
To further silence the critics they posted detailed analysis of their financials which shows that 80% of the revenue is directed at the above 3 missions. The other 20% goes towards salaries, management and fundraising. So how much actually goes to the three main founders and film makers? 2.93% goes towards their salaries which comes to about $87,500 per person. So the fuss at the end of the day comes down to three guys makings a little more then the average person. Is this outrageous or unethical? Not by any means, this represents a fair wage for three people who run a non-profit that generates close to $14 million a year and extends itself deeply into many projects.
What is lost among the controversy is the actual message. The message that Joseph Kony is a man who needs to be stopped and brought to justice for his crimes. Not many can stand up against Invisible Children for their message or their goals. Sure some will say its not this simple or perhaps the problem wont end. Really they are not saying everything is going to be perfect once Kony is captured or killed. What they are saying is that its time the world knows what he has done, its time the world is aware that nearly 500,000 people have gone missing during his reign of terror.
How many of us knew this was going on a few days ago? How many of us would have seen his picture and knew his name was Joseph Kony? So why should we raise our heads in arrogance and critic the people who made us aware.
They have succeed at their first goal, and have made us aware through film. This film did cost money to produce. Lest we forget the founders are film makers. They will not deny that as it is one of their main goals. They used social media to capture us and it was the best example of the power of social media to date..
Of course if you have a problem with their methods I have one simple solution for you. Don’t give them your money! Please also don’t go around looking for ways to incriminate the same people who delivered the message to you. It leaves a taste of ignorance behind.
In the matter of two days Invisible Children changed the world with Kony 2012, they brought a real issue to life and yet many would still rather pick them apart. Ignorance seemingly has shifted from a lack of knowledge to the lack of truth.