Unless you live under a rock, you will be aware of the Kony 2012 campaign by US activist group, Invisible Children. The video released this week ignited fierce debate on Twitter, Facebook and in the media. Understandably, we have been asked repeatedly to react, comment and otherwise critique the campaign. But I think that is missing the bigger picture.

At the core of the campaign is a very real and brutal war. It is a war that was fought, more often than not, by children, and it was characterized by unimaginable cruelty. War Child has been working to address the problems faced by the communities caught up in the bloodshed – and in particular the continuing sexual violence against girls and women, and the culture of impunity that surrounds it. The Ugandan Government successfully chased Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army out of Uganda in 2006, however their continued presence in The Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic is a significant concern, as it destabilizes the region as a whole.

With this in mind, what is important is not the nature of this or any other campaign but the urgency we see in the country for access to justice and a strengthening of a fragile peace. What we ought to be talking about is the extraordinary courage of communities rebuilding in face of profoundly unfair odds. And what we should be investing in are programs and organizations that work with the people of Uganda to empower them to break out of the cycle of violence and create a prosperous and peaceful future.

If you would like to make a difference to families devastated by war, become a War Child Hero today.

 

*Updated March 19 for clarification purposes.

 

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