I was one of the 20 million viewers of Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 film yesterday. If you follow my twitter or Facebook account you may have noticed that I was wrestling critically with certain aspects of the film as well as Invisible Children’s ideology. Aside from certain critiques or questions I have regarding our global responsibility and response to such atrocities and human rights violations as have been perpetuated by Joseph Kony and his rebel army (LRA), I am fascinated by Invisible Children’s ability to ignite a movement through social media. We live in a different era, an era where the capacity for exchanging information and opinions continues to increase day-by-day. (more…)
After a frantic morning of ensuring that I had packed everything I needed for a week-long stint in Uganda and arriving at the airport 35 minutes later than I had originally anticipated, I was finally able to take a deep breath, sit back and pray for an enjoyable flight experience. With each passing hour traveling from Denver to Detroit, from Detroit to Amsterdam, from Amsterdam to Kigali and finally onto Entebbe, I attempted to mentally prepare myself for reentering a country that I briefly called home nearly five years ago.
When I first traveled to Uganda in the spring of 2006, my task was to learn about the life of a widow so that I could collaborate with Beatrice, our widow’s advocate and the leader of the Teso Widows Development Initiative (TEWIDI), on the production of an empowerment-based and encouragement-focused curriculum for a radio program that TCON was preparing to sponsor. My trip lasted less than two weeks, but my research went on for months. Little did I know when I first travelled halfway around the world that my involvement in this particular project would ultimately result in moving my entire family to Kampala, Uganda for the remainder of that year.
I had hoped that life would eventually lead me back to Uganda – to the friends I had made, to the women my heart perpetually ached for, to a country wrought with suffering and a long history of war and violence. I have often wondered about my desire to stay connected to this region of the world. Why would I want to be intimately exposed to such great suffering and hardship? I am sure my mind could grant adequate answers to that particular question – existential answers, theological answers, even psychological answers. But the answer my heart offers is simple – It is because I am a woman and these are my sisters, my mothers, my daughters.