Famine doesn’t happen overnight. And you really don’t have to look very hard to see it coming. The writing has been on the wall….on the table….signs everywhere, that something is wrong and getting worse. For some families in East Africa, it’s been coming a long, long while now, with a series of droughts, wars, conflicts and all sorts of injustices adding insult to injury.
The slide from one meal a day to no food a day happens more often than we’d like to think in our world. Tragically though, it’s not until the terminal phase, when we see the skeleton bodies – children on the verge of starving to death or already succumbed – that the story seems to finally get out, capture our attention, however briefly. And once the story is out there…what is our response going to be? How long before we change the channel?
Cry me food….cry me justice.
I was appalled reading some recent comments posted to articles and stories that did manage to meander their way into the news and onto the blogs. Many of us seem content to simply rationalize the problem and the response away…..”they should be taking care of their own people”….”we don’t want to help the terrorists”….”the money will just get wasted”….”there’s too much corruption”….”I can’t make much of a difference”….”it’s not my problem”….
Really? But what if that was your child starving to death in your arms? My child buried on the run? I think we would be a lot less lethargic, less apathatic, less judgemental about the how’s and why’s of the crisis, and simply beg for a response. Any response. Now, please!
Lots can be done. Lots is being done. Lots more needs to be done, both now and long term with community development and leadership development. The training and empowerment of youth who will lead differently, live differently, share resources, work for peace, intervene, respond, will make a big difference. You can support them.
At our next peace camp, coming up in November, we are focussing on the issue of food security and entrepreneurship (including skills development in a small business) as a crucial part of peace-building. We hope to have a special guest share some of his experience from Dadaab, one of the world’s largest refugee camps, which has recently been overwhelmed with families fleeing from the famine in their homeland. Stay tuned for more news.
Please keep the families impacted by famine in your prayers and make a donation today to an organization involved in the relief.
About today’s photo: Anthony, one of our gafotozi, took this photo as part of his photo essay on village life. He was also one of the young photographers to help document our first peace camp. One of the outcomes of the peace camp was the formation of several peace clubs across the country. Anthony helped to start a club in his village in Kibungo region. Another club, Solace Sowers for Peace, began in Kacyiru (Kigali). On Sunday, July 24, they will be holding their second peace concert and raising funds for famine relief. Learn more.