'Kony 2012' Charity Invisible Children Addresses Its Critics


'Kony 2012' and Invisible Children's Programs

Russell said the charity's programs in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan included the building of a rehabilitation center, an expanded and early-warning radio network connecting communities and an LRA crisis tracker, which is a mapping platform and data-collection system.

But Visible Children pointed out that although Invisible Children had spent more than $8.6 million last year, "only 32 percent went to direct services with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production."

Russell defended the group's spending, saying that Invisible Children needed to spend money on advocacy and awareness of young people, especially in the West.

"Let's be honest. They set the agenda. What they like matters," he said. "We need to educate and transform and reshape [their] paradigm to saying, 'This is what really matters. This is what we can really do.' ... So we do spend money on our films and on our advocacy and awareness. We are proud of that.

"When someone posts only 30 percent or 40 percent is going to the actual ground -- it's an old paradigm where every nonprofit was trying to get 98 percent of all funds to the region that's in conflict. That's an old model.

"We have strategically been putting all the puzzle pieces, all the dominoes in place, and everything is prepped for him to come to the Hague. ... This is never ever happened in 26 years of the conflict," he said. "We need to make sure everyone is aware who Kony is. By making him famous, we will bring his crimes to the light and bring the children who've been abducted back home. That's the goal."

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