|Photo from UN Info Service|
For the past month, I have been consumed with the disaster that has unfolded with the famine in Somalia. The devastation to human life is epic and something that in the West, for most, is inconceivable. We cannot grasp the sheer magnitude of suffering and I am not sure we even want to. We turn away from the horror and the ugly and the reminder of the comfort and abundance in our own lives. Life is stressful these days for everyone it seems; it’s too much to take on.
But how can we not? As I searched for my weekly “give a little” opportunities, I couldn’t get past the famine and the eyes of the mothers who have sacrificed children on the trek to save their families. I couldn’t get past the pools of sorrow and fear in the eyes of babies who have no parents. It’s humongous with more than 12 million lives at risk and experts are predicting the effects of this drought will be felt for years after.
I usually try to pick organizations that provide sustainable solutions to communities who need it most. But what is more “sustainable” than providing basic sustenance for people who will die – and are dying - without it? So for the past four weeks I have donated to agencies dedicated to providing food and care to the people who have been devastated by the drought; this disaster not of their own design nor making. In keeping with Wendy Smith’s philosophy of spreading the love, I donated “a little” to four different agencies. I stuck mainly to Canadian agencies because the Canadian government is matching all donations until September 16th:
Oxfam Canada East Africa Food Crisis
Red Cross Canada Horn of Africa Drought
Free the Children Program to Help Build a Sustainable Future
World Food Program (WFP)
I know we are weary and have problems of our own but I can’t help feeling that any problems we may be encountering here at home, pale in comparison to the mountain of hopelessness that is building as I type these words. Wendy Smith taught me that a little goes a long way, when multiplied by many. So – I am giving a little hope to our family across the world, that they may know that we care if they live.