Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Suffering in Africa

My heart is breaking over some horrible news stories coming out of Africa over the last few weeks.



The little girl in the above picture is three years old and weighs less than 10 pounds. (Yes, you read that correctly.) She, along with thousands of other Ethiopian children, is dying of malnutrition caused by a year of drought and soaring food prices.

UNICEF estimates that 6 million Ethiopian children under the age of 5 are at risk and that more than 120,000 children have only about a month to live. Please click here to read more about this urgent crisis.



I'm also really disturbed about the horrific bloodshed in South Africa, which doesn't even seem to be making the news here in the States.


Apparently, A wave of xenophobic attacks is sweeping across the country, with mobs beating foreigners and setting some ablaze in scenes reminiscent of apartheid era violence. I just learned about the hostility today, thanks to the latest post on Sam's blog.

All this hatred, violence, and suffering just makes me want to cry. I have such a strong desire to help people who are struggling and dying in countries less fortunate than my own. Do you think we have a responsibility to act? (In other words, do we as individuals have a moral obligation to take some action, rather than just waiting and hoping that our government may step in to help with some sort of monetary aid?)

How do you try to help people in your everyday life? What are some of your favorite causes?

13 comments:

Joanna said...

Ok, that is one of the saddest pictures I have ever seen. Dont you just want to snag them all up and give them love? Thanks for coming over to see me at my blog!

peesticksandstones said...

Wow... thank you for reminding me about this. It's definitely heartbreaking, and puts so much in perspective. I wish I did more in my everyday life to help (what would help the most?).

It's also interesting because yesterday there was a big story in the news about inter-racial adoption -- basically saying (at least I thought) that caucasian parents aren't really equipped to raise black children. Overall, it seemed really negative to me, like yet another way to discourage people trying to build families. I was curious what you thought.

SAHW said...

Absolutely! I think we all have a duty to do whatever we can to make a difference. Sometimes it's hard to know what that may be, but for myself, at the very least, I try to donate whenever a new emergency happens...unfortunately, in many parts of the world, countless numbers of people are living in a constant state of emergency...

Thanks for dropping by my blog...I'm looking forward to reading about your journey to parenthood!

Hecticmom Undone said...

OMG! 3 years old. You are right - that is so incredibly sad. I'm one that gets caught up in cause after cause. My last one was the horrible treatment of women in Afghanistan. Free women who were basically enslaved and were not even allowed to show their faces. Things are getting better - but slowly.

My hubby's parents live in South Africa and it's so incredibly horrible.

My employee's parents live in Iraq - and their lives have basically been destroyed.

My co-worker lives in China and had family that was killed in the recent devestation.

What do we choose who we help? Can we help? Oh, you have no idea how this haunts me.

So, I have two causes - one is for the awareness of food allergies (my daughter has life threatening food allergies) and for the foundation for fighting blindness. My father is blind and I carry the gene so my son has a 50/50 chance of being blind when he is an adult. I want this diseased to be cured.

oh2btigger said...

Do you remember those commercials that used to come on back in the 80's? For the World Children's fund or something like that? I used to watch those and just bawl my eyes out. Then, I would beg my mom to make a donation and that I would use my allowance to pay for it.

I got older and I learned that those kids probably never got the money because most of it goes to administrative costs and bribes. That broke my heart even more and when I learned that, I didn't want to spend anymore money. I wanted the money to go to the kids, not anything else.

I was doing some reading on Ethiopian kids and I just couldn't stop crying (still today it breaks my heart that we live in a world today where people are still starving!)

~Jess said...

How horrible! I wasn't even aware of the situation...I'll be watching it more closely. I feel so badly for those poor children. My husband and I plan to adopt, at least once, if not twice. Africa is one of the places high on my list.

I too wonder who do I help first, how.

InGod'sHands said...

Thanks for following our journey. I wish you the very best along yours. Yes, I do think we have a responsibility to act. Mine is helping to educate and prepare families for adoption. After they travel, not one hasn't been on fire to help the people in that country. Many of their fellow church members, family, etc. are then moved to help as well. So, maybe you have already started helping and you just don't know it yet.

Blessings,
Rebecca

Kymberli said...

My goodness. It's so easy to walk around in daily life and forget that the harsh reality of the world at large is far more than the flashes we see and hear on the news. I also will be watching more closely and will surely be following along in your blog. You're helping to raise so much awareness.

Io said...

{heart breaks}

Jared and Amy said...

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Heather said...

Hi there. Thanks for the post on my blog. I would love to talk with you abut Gladney. Email me privately when you have a moment.

henie@earthlink.net

Ya Chun said...

Since it has been in the news that food prices are really hurting food pantries and world relief agencies, I have been trying even harder to not buy too much food and to not waste food. I try to finish every grain of rice, since one grain can produce a whole plant. I think that if we all try to consume less of everything, it would help. I am not rich and can't donate alot of money, but I can try to require less resources.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Masha said...

Thanks for visiting my blog - and interesting that you should be posting on the xenophobia in South Africa. That's where I live. My husband and I just had a conversation about how much one should be giving (we've been dropping off tinned food and clothing for the people who have been chased from their homes). There is a refugee shelter quite close to us. He wants to take a lot of drawing materials there and keep the kids busy. They need more than food and shelter, after all...
And when we were buying tinned food, he carefully picked out a whole lot of tinned peaches. Its very cold and rainy here at the moment, and he was picturing these poor people, trying to survive, at least they could have a treat?

Its sad that this has happened, and I'm afraid there is not much chance that it will be solved easily...