it is the photos of the suffering that is happening in the horn of africa right this very minute.
the situation is soon to be declared a famine, something that has not happened since the eighties, when many of us remember the heartbreaking photos of starving children with their wide eyes and their desperate parents.
those images shaped much of my perception of africa, actually.
not a good thing, as africa is much more than a country in need, but how i understood and processed it as a teen.
it is happening again.
|photo credit: unicef website|
the situation has been described as a terrible collision of many elements - a horrendous drought affecting Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda with political insanity in Somalia slowing down relief efforts...but does it matter the cause?
the effect is families crowding refugee camps like dadaab, walking for days - DAYS - in heat that we find unbearable for two days a year - with bare feet, young children and babies.
and NO food and water.
i think about alex and holly and jake having to walk the trek these families have done and are doing and it overwhelms me.
and those are the people that are able to make the trek. others are too weak to survive the travel, others unable to leave their ravaged areas for many reasons, and they are just starving where they are.
as it is, the hospital set ups in dadaab and the camps are overwhelmed, often receiving patients who are very, very far gone, too malnourished to help.
and again, these are the *safe* places.
where 500,000 men, women and children are looking for relief, care and safety in three camps set up to accomodate tens of thousands of people...not the hundreds of thousands that are there and arriving by the hundreds every single day.
they are trying to escape starvation and horrible political chaos.
and they need help.
the news services in europe began reporting on the seriousness of the situation well before the canadian press did.
the only reason i knew to pay attention was because of amanda lindhout, who through her facebook (yes, facebook ) and finally the canadian media, started sharing her experience with the conditions in and around the refugee camp of dadaab.
(there are many interviews available online, just search amanda lindhout dadaad and you will find them).
yes, amanda is back in africa. and using her contacts through her foundation, the Global Enrichment Foundation, to bring attention to this famine. and people are starting to listen.
i know, i have already heard the arguments of people wanting to help and but *just not being sure* that their money will go to the right place.
i can not speak to that more than to say, the people on the ground, actively helping the situation are trusting unicef somalia to get the food to people in somalia.
and i know, there are always places to support closer to home.
world respected organizations are in the camps - unicef, doctors without borders - helping save lives. these are the groups you can help with donations.
i have already spoken with friends who are trying to figure out ways to raise money to help.
and i will share those here when they happen.
as for me?
i am going to be selling 8x10 prints for 20$ each to raise funds.
i will even cover postage of the photo to you.
i have made a collection here
but if you see a photo of mine that you like that is not included?
let me know.
as long as i can print it? i will send it.
my goal, which i decided on this very minute, is 50 prints sold to raise 1000$.
that would be fantastic.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
(if you are wondering... i normally sell 8x10 prints at 50$ each )
if you want to make a donation that will garner you a tax receipt, donations starting at 25$ to unicef gets you a tax receipt here
and thank you.