Dubai: Young people in the UAE have thrown their lot into an international online campaign to capture an Ugandan warlord accused of creating thousands of child soldiers.
The Kony 2012 initiative has attracted hundreds of thousands of supporters globally over the past week, saying they too want to help make a difference.
Created by American filmmaker Jason Russell, Kony 2012 is the latest video to be released by the American non-profit organisation Invisible Children.
It aims to make war criminal Joseph Kony infamous and see him brought to justice by the end of 2012.
This is a conflict that has been going on for over two decades and is little known in the world. In 2003, Russell and two other American filmmakers headed to Africa where they came across the atrocities being committed in Uganda. This led to the filming of their 50-minute documentary called Invisible Children. The film was released in 2005 and received a large response and Invisible Children was established as an official non-profit organisation in 2006.
Within two days of the latest Kony video's release students in the UAE had formed several groups such as: KONY DUBAI - 2012, KONY 2012 - Supporters From UAE Kony 2012 - UAE and Kony 2012 (UAE), each of which works to spread awareness among the residents of the country.
Nikhil Koshy, one of the founders of the group KONY 2012 — Supporters From UAE told Gulf News: "None of us were aware of Joseph Kony or the crimes he committed, but after seeing the video we decided we needed to do something to help raise awareness around the world."
The group, which has over 250 members, aims at spreading awareness through their Facebook page. Koshy said: "Facebook is a big community with millions of members. One share will be viewed by a person's entire list and is a good way to get the message out."
To make their page unique they have done a series of interviews with fellow students to find out what they think about the Kony movement and inspire others to share their views.
Another group, Kony2012 — UAE is looking to take their support for the cause a step further, through a series of in-school events.
According to the group's main moderator and event planner, Fabio Troiano, most of the groups 4,130 members are based in the UAE, and about 60 per cent are aged 12 to 25.
He said: "It starts with the students. If we get the word out to them, they will go home and spread what they have learned among their friends and family. This will help get other people interested and they will in turn want to know more, and this will help us find people to help us host a larger event."