HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Joseph Kony, a Ugandan rebel leader is quickly becoming a household name. A visit to HawaiiNewsNow's Facebook page and you will see dozens of posts on Kony and the Invisible Children.
Invisible Children is the non-profit group behind the Kony 2012 campaign. Its aim is to make Kony 'famous' by raising awareness and garnering support for his arrest through social media.
Who is Joseph Kony? Head of the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, Kony has long been on the International Criminal Court's wanted list for his crimes against humanity. Human rights activists say the LRA has killed thousands in massacres and forced scores of African children to serve as child soldiers or sex slaves.
The movement employs human elements as a tactic in its social media push, showcasing a film directed by Jason Russell. The film evokes empathy from audiences as it describes the plight of Uganda through the eyes of a former LRA child soldier, Jacob, and Russell's young son. It was posted to YouTube on Monday and has already generated more than seven million views.
In addition to raising awareness amongst the youth Russell hopes to collect the support of celebrities, athletes, and billionaires who will then target key policy makers. Doing so can keep American soldiers in Africa to track Kony and his forces down. Celebrities like Rihanna and Michelle Branch have already tweeted their support for the campaign.
Action kits from Invisible Children are also available, which will provide supporters with bracelets, posters, stickers, and signs to plaster throughout their towns to raise further awareness of Kony. According to the video, people can receive these kits for free once they've donated money through TRI each month.
On April 20, Invisible Children will take their campaign a step further in a massive event called "Cover the Night." The event calls for thousands of supporters to cover every street and corner with posters about Kony in cities across America.
Not long after Russell's documentary made its social media debut, "Cover the Night" events on Facebook, including HawaiiNewsNow's, has grown to hundreds of members, each committing to take part in the effort.