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Former LRA abductee says she has been exploited (Youtube-Clip) and the troubles of the NGO the Invisible Children!

A former abductee of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels has accused a Non Governmental Organisation in Northern Uganda of using her to solicit funds from donors without offering her any support. Stella Lanam, was abducted by the rebels in 1998 in Lamwo district. She told NTV that the NGO exploited her as she struggled to resettle in the community. The NGO has not responded to the accusations” (NTV Uganda, 2016)

What I was able to find out:

If you wonder which Organization that used her story for their benefit, it was the Invisible Children, the American NGO who is famous for the Kony 2012 campaign. She was trained under their MEND program that lasted from 2007-2014.  She herself told her story to the Campaign in 2009. So the truth is in the pudding and is viable for the people to find out about.

What was told about her through the Invisible Children Mend Video:

” it is impossible for most 12 –year-olds to imagine being taken from school one day along with 150 other students and dragged into the bush by the LRA. That is Stella’s story. She and her classmates were abducted from their primary school by the rebel group and were trained to be a child soldiers and deployed into the bush with guns and machetes. They were sent to overthrow the Ugandan government. While fighting, she was given to a rebel soldier and was soon impregnated. Of the 150 students kidnapped alongside Stella, more than half were killed. Despite all that she has been through, Stella keeps smiling and singing. But Stella also continues to fight for the rights of formerly abducted women, as she dreams of becoming a local councilperson. A born leader, she is making the future brighter – not only for herself, but for all child mothers in northern Uganda. And for the first time, the brightness of her future outshines the dark memories she has passed through” (MEND.co/VIMEO, 09.09.2016).

Dissolved?

These kinds of problematic representations ultimately led to a backlash against the organization. This became particularly clear during and after the Kony 2012 campaign and had a fundamental effect on the fundraising efforts of the organization. Traditionally, most of IC’s funds were collected as a result of its tours: countrywide presentations in high schools and colleges about the conflict and the organization’s work during which merchandise such as T-shirts and DVDs were sold and a large number of donations were collected” (…)”A second important issue is the market-based functioning of Invisible Children, whose operations have become increasingly in line with Dan Pallotta’s thinking. Russell and Keesey often cite Pallotta’s work as a major influence on how they conceptualize the future of charity and Pallotta sits on their advisory board. He was also a featured speaker at IC events in 2009, 2012 and 2013. Pallotta’s basic argument is that charities should be run according to private sector principles. Concretely, he argues for the “multiplying effect of smart investments.” This involves paying large overheads in order to attract the most talented people who in turn are expected to produce the best results, but also in the belief that higher spending in these “smart investments” will pay off: the more you spend, the more you raise and therefore the more you grow” (…)”Kony 2012 was not the first time Invisible Children had been confronted with accusations of grossly misrepresenting the conflict or its role in ending it. It did initiate, however, an overwhelming tidal wave of exposure to which the organization was ill-prepared to respond” (…)”Unlike a for-profit corporation, however, Invisible Children’s closure will have lasting effects on the many communities and students to whom it committed and whose lived experiences it aims to represent. Charitable organizations have a profoundly different set of relationships with their beneficiaries” (Ticea & Sebastian, 2015).

IC Expenses

That is the reason why she the abducted woman never got what she was promised by the NGO, it was dissolved and a NGO who is famous for using the conflict for their own gain, instead of trying to really help the people in the Northern Uganda the LRA abductees. The plot it seems for the Invisble Children was to gain as much funds and donor money, through smart marketing instead of actually doing great work on the ground. Peace.

Reference:

Ticea, Kristof & Sebastian, Matthew – ‘Why did Invisible Children dissolve?’ (30.12.2015) link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/12/30/why-did-invisible-children-dissolve/

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