Mar 272012
 
Authors: Kate Winkle

Thanks to social media, people remember the name Kony.

Since its release on March 5, Invisible Children’s “KONY 2012” film has garnered more than 80 million views on YouTube and nearly crashed the “KONY 2012” website from the overwhelming traffic it received, according to the Invisible Children Facebook page.

A screening of the documentary will take place at CSU today at 6 p.m. in the Johnson Hall Theatre, room 222. The event, sponsored by GUIDE, the Residence Hall Association and the Invisible Children Club at CSU, will be followed by a question-and-answer session with roadies from Invisible Children, including a woman from an affected area in Uganda.

“This is an excellent forum to bring an important issue to students,” said Dominique Montano, RHA Director of Programming, in an email to the Collegian. “Bringing roadies to college students allows a unique opportunity to ask questions to someone who has truly experienced the things the video talks about. It is a chance for students to not only have their voices heard but to give a voice to the individuals from Uganda.”

CSU’s screening of “KONY 2012” is meant to raise awareness of an issue that, although newly popular, has existed for more than 20 years, according to the Invisible Children website.

The movement is designed to make Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in central Africa “famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice,” the Invisible Children’s website says.

What began as three friends’ filmmaking trip to Africa in 2003 has grown into a non-profit that works to stop LRA violence and support war-affected communities in East and Central Africa. Invisible Children accomplishes these goals through a three-pronged approach: raising awareness of the LRA via documentaries and tours, orchestrating advocacy campaigns to stop the LRA and protect civilians, and operating protection, rehabilitation and development assistance programs in LRA-affected areas, according to their website.

“I think it is very hard to find a non-profit organization that does what Invisible Children does. Not only do they build schools and provide LRA crisis trackers to help avoid more killings, but they create jobs for Ugandans,” said Paresa Kouhestani, president of CSU’s Invisible Children Club in an email to the Collegian. “Invisible Children is continuously developing new programs for Ugandans and I really respect that.”

CSU’s Invisible Children club is a part of IC’s “Schools for Schools” program, and raises funds for a sister school in Gulu, Uganda.

“All the money we fundraise goes directly toward Invisible Children and because we are part of the ‘Schools for Schools’ program, 100 percent of our funds go to Uganda,” Kouhestani said. “We also raise awareness about Joseph Kony and what he has been doing in Africa. We want the community to be aware of the situation and know how to help and spread the word.”

According to Kouhestani screenings are a major strategy to raising awareness and mobilizing youth to support Invisible Children’s mission.

“I think it’s important for roadies to reach the college level because college students can make a huge difference. When we hear about something interesting, we tell everyone,” Kouhestani said.

“When I say everyone, I mean everyone: our younger siblings, our parents, our grandparents and other students. When we take an interest in something, we work really hard to make a difference.”

Collegian writer Kate Winkle can be reached at news@collegian.com.

KONY 2012 Screening
6 p.m.
Johnson Hall, Rm 222

For More Information:
Invisiblechildren.com
Invisible Children at CSU on Facebook

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