This weekend Levi learned about the Kony2012 project. JosephKony is number one on the International Criminal Court’s most wanted list for his role in the abduction and militarization of 30,000 children in Uganda. Because of the efforts of grassroots activists, President Obama deployed 100 US troops to advise Ugandan troops in Kony’s capture. The goal of Kony2012 is to keep Kony in the public eye so that the mission continues to receive US support despite setbacks.
After Levi heard about Kony2012, we watched the online videothat has gone viral in a matter of days. (The video is sobering but very well done and not graphic or gratuitous. I recommend it.) Levi never before knew of things like child soldiers or strategic mutilation. It was hard to watch him learn about the worst of humanity; it was beautiful to watch his response. Levi and Logan spent the rest of the afternoon making flyers and distributing them door to door around our neighborhood. Logan joined the Kony2012 facebook group and posted the video on his wall. Once the boys learned about it, they couldn't sit by. My children--who live in peace, safety, and prosperity unfathomable to many children--wanted to help children a world away who live in conditions unfathomable to us.
After the neighborhood was plastered with the boys' flyers, I agreed to blog about Kony2012 as part of Levi’s work. Here is his letter to you.
Did you know about the man named Joseph Kony. Who was kidnapping kids and turning boys into soldiers and turning girls into slaves. He is also telling the boys to kill their parents and makes the boys carry guns everywhere they go and makes the girls do whatever Joseph Kony wants them to do. He also tells the boys to cut up everyone’s faces with sharp knives. Joseph Kony is now the world’s number one criminal. He is hiding and we sent out 100 soldiers to find him so we are trying to make Joseph Kony famous, not the good famous, the bad famous. We want everyone to know that Joseph Kony is a bad guy so the president will keep soldiers out there, and on April 20th at midnight we will put up all these posters and pictures of Joseph Kony so everyone will know.
Sincerely, your grandson, cousin, and nephew
Levi Qshurst-McGeeMy mama heart loves this budding human rights activism. He has correctly grasped the goal to leverage public outcry. Levi would appreciate so much hearing from any of you who watch the video or lean about Joseph Kony. Share a comment here and I'll pass it along to Levi. Let's teach him that grassroots activism can spread the word and make a difference!
P.S. For more information, go to www.kony2012.com. WARNING The video is a half hour long and don’t cry when you watch it.
Update: Levi is very excited to have received the following letter from one of our Senators.
April 4, 2012
1728 West 8300 South
West Jordan, UT 84088-8249
Thank you for writing to me about Joseph Kony. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
Like you, I am concerned about the complex and troubling situation in Uganda. As you know, Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has combined cult fanaticism with ruthless military force. In the past twenty years, it is estimated that under Kony, the LRA has killed tens of thousands, displaced over 1 million and kidnapped more than 30,000 children to turn into child soldiers. In 2005, the International Criminal Court charged Kony with 12 counts of crime against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes. Not surprisingly, he has yet to face justice for his actions.
That is why I joined Senator Inhofe and Senator Coons in co-sponsoring
S.Res 402, a resolution condemning Kony and the LRA for committing crimes against humanity and supporting ongoing efforts by the U.S. and countries in central Africa, to remove Kony and his LRA commanders from the battlefield. Currently this resolution is supported by 40 of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle.
I remain committed to seeking a way to end the violence and suffering of the people in Uganda, Sudan, and throughout Central Africa. Your views in this regard are always appreciated.
Again, thank you for writing.
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator