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What if it was your child starving…

I have to admit I am not much of a news person.  I find it difficult to find the time to watch the news and although I know it is accessible on the internet I find that there are so many other things I am trying to catch up on that the news is not a priority (maybe if facebook gave me the news I’d be more informed?).  
 However it was just last week when I had the television on for a few minutes and caught one of the later news programs that I was confronted with  news on the drought and resulting famine in the horn of Africa. I had seen a little about this prior to that night but it was the images and the stories being told that gripped my heart and made me feel so powerless.
Women and children wait for food in Kenya      (photo AFP via SMH)
 
I think it is a common response to feel powerless to do anything to help such a massive world problem. It is not just Africa (although their situation is currently probably the worst in terms of the scale of it) but there are people worldwide who are watching their children die because they don’t have enough food or clean water to give them. Can you even imagine how that must feel for a mother to helplessly watch her child die and know that there is a solution but it is just so far out of her reach. While people like you and I are sitting in restaurants eating so much that we “couldn’t possibly fit in dessert”.
I did what most of us do and felt terrible for a time, then wondered what I could do, then thought it was all too hard. I forgot about it for a couple of days then I was driving in the car with my family and (as I sometimes do) I was imagining a terrible tragedy happening to my whole family and how I would communicate that we were all going to die. It hit me again that right at that moment mothers were telling their children that they were (hopefully) going to a better place where they would no longer suffer…it was a reality for them. I was in tears and I emerged from my imagination crying and telling my husband we just had to give money to the famine relief.
Straight away he said that he had already donated to the World Vision 40 hour famine which he was participating with our church youth group but that if I felt we should give more then we would. I knew that the amount of money we were giving was generous to us but nothing in comparison to the needs of the world. I know we all have tight budgets and some of us may be struggling ourselves but even giving a few dollars helps.
Another really easy way to give is from your tax rebate. We overestimated our earnings to Centrelink and were surprised at tax time to get more back that we expected. This allowed us to be able to give away some of this money that we were not expecting to get. I know that lots of us do this or get back childcare rebates, or other money at tax time and it is an easy another way we can support our brothers and sisters in other countries who don’t even have the basics to keep them alive and healthy.
There are so many ways to help. Don’t be restricted by my suggestions but do think about how you can help. Read more about it and gain a deeper understanding of the problems and the suffering people are facing and please don’t forget about it.
Please also check out Deb’s (from Aspiring Mum) post on the famine and Jess’ post (Diary of a SAHM)
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Comments

  1. Hi Lisa, I just jumped on the boat and posted about this tonight.

    Reading more of the news and seeing images in particular was absolutely heartbreaking (and sort of reminds me why I, like you, usually bury my head in the sand).

    I will add your link to the end of my post too. I think the more people spreading awareness and encouraging people to contribute, the better.

  2. Thanks for the reminder Lisa. Like you said, it is easy to forget about the struggles of others when we have it so easy. I have heard of two funds in the last week where all donations go to the horn of Africa. One is the ABC’s East Africa Appeal where funds go to UNHCR’s (UN Refugee Agency) emergency relief operations in East Africa (http://www.abc.net.au/eastafricaappeal/). The other is Anglican Aid where the Archbishop of Sydney has sent out a special appeal to fight the famine in East Africa (http://anglicanaid.org.au/news/the_horn_of_africa_famine_crisis_appeal). Of course, there are other Australian Based Aid Agencies that are helping too but these might be some places where you readers might like to start if they are considering donating.

  3. It’s also possible to donate via Anglican Aid’s Famine Crisis Appeal (http://anglicanaid.org.au/news/the_horn_of_africa_famine_crisis_appeal).

    When we heard of what was happening, it was just around the time we were heading to the accountant. God’s timing was amazing.

  4. Thanks for the comments and the other ways/places to donate. It is great to hear others feel the same way and have been moved to donate. Every little bit helps

  5. Hi Lisa, I love your take on this. I had never considered the words a mother might use to tell her child she will see Jesus soon. And the thought that some are doing this right now?
    It is completely heart breaking.
    Thanks for this.

  6. Thanks Lisa for the great reminder. We’ve been able to donate something financially but now my worry is that I’ll think “ok that’s done, now I can get on with my life”. I pray that the compassion God’s given us will stay with us and that we’ll keep those suffering around the world in our thoughts and prayers.

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