A VIVID memory I have of my early years at school involves an envelope, corn kernels and white rice. The small amount of the stables were sealed in a little bag and distributed to the class. While the details are hazy, I remember being told this was the amount of food a Somali child had access to over a particular length of time. This was in the famine of 1992 and I was about 6 or 7 years of age at the time. While at such a young age I was unable to make a contribution towards putting food in a starving child’s belly, it had a profound effect, and has sustained my commitment to doing my best to eliminate hunger in whichever way I can.
While we’ve focussed on the Royal Wedding, Christmas, Easter and birthdays, increasingly desperate parents have had to look into the eyes of their hungry, malnourished children and tell them there is no food to eat. La Nina has resulted in a dry couple of years in the Horn of Africa, primarily Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Now 12 million people – just like us – are going hungry. It’s been acknowledge as the worst drought in the region for “over 60 years”. While there are number of challenges our world faces at present, for me, it’s a somewhat depressing sign about the state of our humanity that a shortage of food is one of them. It needn’t be. While the Australian and other governments have rightfully offered aid, people have already died. More as you read this. We need to demonstrate to fellow humans with the donation of our own money and spirit, their plight is our fight to ensure future generations don’t face the needless, painful, end.
- Several Australian and international aid organisations are helping feed people in the Horn of Africa. Donations can be made at http://www.unicef.org.au, should you feel so inclined.