Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Somalia Famine

Second week into the holy month of fasting and I’m still going strong (though to be honest, I have not fasted everyday, I want to make sure I don’t fall sick).

One of the daily rituals baby and I do after returning from the daycare and getting situated at home, is to watch the national evening news. I prefer NBC’s Brian Williams (hey if you are going to watch the news might as well do it with some eye candy). In this month of fasting, the one story that always strikes me is the on-going Somalia famine. I am haunted by the stories of mothers leaving their dying children on the side of the road, as they walk away the child staring at them silently; this breaks my heart. What tragic circumstances lead a mother to do that, I can’t even let my little one cry for a few seconds. I am not passing judgment, just stating that it is completely out of my realm of experiences.

News reports say that collectively we have given less to these victims than to those suffering from the tsunami and the Haiti earthquake. Why is that? Is one disaster more worthy of help than another? I don’t think people are maliciously NOT giving but I do wonder if there is a bit of donor fatigue when it comes to Africa. Let’s face it, there is always a need in Africa. Is something in the back of people’s minds saying, “not again?” I know upon initially hearing of the famine I flashed back to the 1980’s and the Live Aid concerts – so much money was raised and yet we could not avoid another famine, what is the point?

Irregardless, as I break my fast, I knew I had to give, not only are we Muslims encouraged to give in Ramadan but there is much spiritual reward to be had; for example yesterday I was feeding baby her oatmeal cereal and I thought, “my God, how a baby in Somalia could use this little bowlful so much right now.” I prayed that my donation to Doctors without Borders would make that possible.

I implore you to consider donating to a charity helping out the Somalia famine victims - $5 goes a long way, maybe think of it as a way of sharing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan with your Muslim friends (like me!).

Doctors Without Borders

Edesia, one of the makers of Plumpy'nut®, a life-saving nutrient, has set up a donation page to allow people to specifically donate the product to children in Horn of Africa

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

CARE

World Vision's Horn of Africa response

UNICEF

Save the Children You can donate online or text SURVIVE to 20222 to donate $10 (Standard message rates apply). Legal disclosure: www.savethechildren.org/legaldisclosure

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)

MercyCorps

Oxfam America

5 Comments:

Blogger my mind wanders said...

Agreed. It is difficult when there is so much going on in the world - it is easy for the suffering of others to be overshadowed. Nice reminder. :-)

1:34 PM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

here is a phenomenon called "compassion fatigue" where people feel overwhelmed by a prolonged need and give up. I think one-time crises may be easier to deal with. But still, there is a need.

6:12 AM  
OpenID coffeedrinkingwoman said...

I love how you haven't just said "isn't the famine horrible", but have also provided ways for people to help.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Hina said...

you know this means you're eliminated from the competition.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

H - so true, so true.

Secret Agent - Compassion Fatigue, very interesting, you are right, a one time event I think is easier to relate too. If it repeatedly happens, do we start to think, that these people are doing it to themselves, like building a house in a flood plan, having it flood and than re-building it there.

Coffee - thank you - I just wish there was more I could do.

Hina - I know : (

12:12 AM  

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