Thanks to Tech, Kony Victims Have Help

March 22, 2012
By: Michelle Amodio

Four weeks ago, the majority of us in more developed countries didn’t know who Joseph Kony was. As things are wont to do when it comes to social networking, it all changed when one video from Invisible Children went viral and blew up news feeds, tweets and headlines. “Kony 2012” aimed to bring fame to Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, and it certainly did.

It spread so quickly and so fast that, after a few short weeks, unless you live under a rock, you knew who Joseph Kony was and why he was a pretty bad guy.

Of course, the headlines shifted, as Invisible Children was soon under fire for its sketchy financial practices. They went ahead and explained themselves, and then the director of “Kony 2012” fell prey to exhaustion and dehydration, resulting in some not-so-decent behavior.

All that aside, the video did its job of getting help to these victims, so much so that Mashable reports that an organization by the name of THARCE-Gulu is giving technological aid to those who suffered under Kony’s hand.

Through filmmaking and computer education, THARCE-Gulu hands out donated Flip cameras and teaches the victims how to use them along with editing software. The students then shoot and edit their creations within the Gulu community, and the storytelling acts as a cathartic medium by which these victims can heal.

"We have a motto here at THARCE, 'Nothing about us, without us,'" THARCE supporter and actress Eliza Dushku (Bring It On, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse) reports Mashable.

THARCE uses donated HP laptops to teach computing skills to the Gulu community and set up a center where people can go and check email, use Facebook (News - Alert), and connect with the world outside their community.

One woman named Rose was abducted under Kony’s regime. She now uses her new-found tech skills to access the Internet and reach out to a world that would otherwise have been unknown to her, and that is all thanks to THARCE.

"It's a new shot at life for her and her kids," Dushku said to Mashable. "They're so desperate for tech. I was the CES (News - Alert) ambassador this year and I would say 'I know it might sound insane, but send us your old products, you have no idea the effect it will have -- they are so savvy and so desperate."

Edited by Rich Steeves