Kony 2012 has been viewed over 100 million times worldwide in the past 10 days. While the media storm rages, Catholic Relief Services is continuing the work we've been doing for decades in the regions of East and Central Africa.
We all must do our best to support any and all efforts to stop Kony and all misguided zealots and tyrants from terrorizing the innocent. But as long as humans continue to destroy each other, there must be support for survivors.
I believe there is no mission more urgent than to help children who are suffering and I applaud Invisible Children for raising the awareness of Kony. I urge them to embrace the opportunity before them and point advocates to where war and abducting children is still happening: Congo.
A refrain that is often repeated by Invisible Children's supporters is that the organization's goal is not to "get bogged down by history" but rather to "raise awareness" thus leading to "action." But what kind of action can come in Central Africa if one ignores the region's history?
The international community needs more opportunities to argue and debate about our involvement in the world and especially Africa. We need to stop for a moment and question if we are doing enough and if so, is what we are doing actually RIGHT?
So, while there has been no specific event to trigger U.S. intervention in Africa's ongoing troubles, the time to address any number of issues is ripe. There is the potential to bring some stability to a long suffering area.
Invisible Children, with its mission to fight child slavery in Africa, is a finalist to win $1 million in the Chase Community Giving Facebook competition. If we win, we'll give $100K to Haiti relief efforts.