Monday, 30 January 2006

Ci vediamo, when the next disaster strikes....

Remember the crisis which hit Niger a while ago? Remember how around the month of July Niger was all over the news and how we started collecting funds and sending aid these poor people’s way? My question is why did we wait till around July to do something? Why did we have to wait till the situation got that bad? Why do we always procrastinate?

Niger received in ten days more that any aid it received during the whole 7 months which preceded all the media coverage. Thanks to the BBC which run shots of children with blotted bellies, mothers looking grief stricken, fathers desolately looking at nothing but dry land. That’s when I heard about the crisis. Though, the ONU did make an appeal for help since the month of February 2005. And the most incredible fact is that Niger's leaders where denying the hunger claims!

Its incredible but the impression I get that events have to have an “In” quality to them in order to attract our attention. They have to be tragic, they have to be bad. Failing to fill these conditions will inevitably make them unworthy of our attention. You see, this famine problem still persists in Niger today. There is an ongoing ongoing and rapidly emerging hunger emergency in Ethiopia, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe. I am yet to read or hear about them. They need help. They need food. They need an "active compassion". This is a long term situation we’re talking about. This is no “In” situation. But heck, who cares, they aren’t talking about it on the news or the papers so it can’t be that bad, right? Till the next disaster strikes.


Networkchic said...

It is unfortunate that we live in a world that needs to be slapped in the face with images of poverity and despair before we lift our hands and our hearts to help make it better. We get so caught up in our own lives that we leave so little room for other things that seemingly have nothing to do with us. But we're wrong aren't we, it has everything to do with us. I know that I'm going to teach my own daughter to be aware of those around her, not just what's right in front of her, but everywhere - even if she can't see it. Let's hope that our children grow up to be more compassionate human beings.

Adeline said...

Fitena, you have hit on a soft spot for me. I do not--or well I should say i am ashamed of the inaction of our big fat rich united states ass when it come to the crises of Africa. My crisis of the day are the children of Uganda and Sudan who are kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army and then through fear are made to serve as child soldiers.

Thing is, If I was in the White House today, I don't know a thing that ought to be done. We always send money, but it's as though the problem lies in the seed of corruption that exists in the bureacratic powers.

I can't bear human misery, it weighs on my heart as a mom. I have a child and perhaps I haven't realized that I can't save all children from those who would hurt them. I think that these thoughts sound terribly trite, so I don't like to mention them. But babies in a state of utter starvation, or forced into combat by watching their peers slaughtered as examples of what might happen to them just makes no sense to me in this world.

Like the commenter before me, I want so much to teach Adeline to always be looking out for those who deserve her compassion. Whether it's an old person left to die or it's a person on the street who needs a hand up. I can't save the babies in Niger. But if we all did just what simple things we could to protest, rather than thinking merely about our own lives every minute of the day, maybe something in the world would change.

M said...

My friend just got back from working in Niger for five months. She was working in these villages out in the middle of nowhere. The stories she's come back with are incredible. She's itching to finish up her degree and go back... I'm so happy to know some of the people I know.

Jaeboy said...

Providing aid is not a permanent solution, those people must be taught to become independent and productive or at least semi self-sufficient. Otherwise even the next generation would still depend on external help.

And btw thanks for dropping by my blog, and you've been link'd back too ;)

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