BETHESDA, MD (WUSA) --- YouTube's most recent headline-making video strikes home with the kids touring the United States in their show "The Spirit of Uganda," which they performed at the Music Center at Strathmore here Friday night.
The video,Kony 2012, states its reason for being near the very top of the documentary. "Its only purpose is to stop the rebel group LRA and its leader, Joseph Kony," the narrator says.
It goes on to document the murders and thousands of kidnappings attributed to the rebel leader in Northern Uganda, and has been viewed by a reported 21 million times.
"That is incredible for me and my country because Joseph Kony has been murdering people and brainwashing children to turn against their parents to go ahead and kill them," said 18-year-old Brian Odong before his performance Friday evening.
"I am so grateful that the world is realizing that there is something really horrible going on," he told 9News Now.
"Basically, my father was killed by Joseph Kony as he was coming back from a walk in the evening," Odong said.
His story is not unique in the group of performers now in the middle of their American tour.
"These rebels came and knocked the door," said 19-year-old Jimmy Ayo, recalling the night his father was killed.
"My dad told me that these are the people that are going to kill us," he remembered.
Jimmy and his dad ran from the back of the house, choosing different directions in which to escape. Jimmy made it. His dad did not.
"They do their work, just kill every living thing they can find, so I think that's the reason that they killed my dad," he said.
Most of the performers are orphans, part of a program developed by the non-profit charity Empower African Children.
"They know what has happened to them, but they have a positive message. They see a future, a bright future for them through the arts," said Artistic Director Peter Kasule.
"Dancing is the best way you can communicate, the best way you can ever talk to anybody," said Brian Odong.
"I am happy and I want everybody watching me to feel the joy in my heart," he said.