I realize that we in the Western world can get fatigued by all the pleas for help and aid from organizations that represent the interests of less fortunate people in the developing world. It has even come to the point where some people don't watch the news anymore because "all that negativity affects their inner peace".
I am not a terribly religious person, but Matthew 25: 35 - 40 has always had a certain resonance in my life. It's very simple and I'm sure we are all familiar with the words;
"‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ "
Having said that, I'm usually very annoyed with certain celebrities who seem to be able to stir up the masses in short lived, highly fashionable, and ultimately inneffective campaigns that do not address the real issues and make us weary of hearing about yet another crisis. These celebrities are unaware that they are squandering the goodwill and patience of a lot of people.
I recieved an email from Bono's organization (ONE) this morning though, and I thought I would pass it along. The message is concise, to the point, and (I believe) effective. It is obscene that people are starving in the 21st century. It is obscene that we lack the political will to make real changes. Famine is not a natural catastrophe in this day and age.I think this campaign is well worth supporting, as it is a campaign to put pressure on our political leaders to fulfill the promises that they continue to make and then break.
Dear world leaders,
The famine in Somalia could kill 750,000 in the coming months, and tens of thousands have already died. When you meet at the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit in November, you have the opportunity to break the cycle of famine and ensure people are hungry no more. Lives are in your hands. Please keep the promises you have made to the 2 billion poor people who depend on farming for their livelihoods.
The reasons for the famine in the Horn of Africa are complex and solutions are difficult, especially in Somalia, but we can’t lose sight of some simple facts:
1. 30,000 children have died in just 3 months. Thirty thousand. With over 12 million people at risk.
2. Famine is not a natural catastrophe – drought doesn’t have to lead to famine. It can be prevented, as we have seen in much of Kenya and Ethiopia.
In the 21st century, it’s an obscenity that people are dying because they can’t get enough food to eat. Every one of those 30,000 children is part of a family – a son, a daughter, sister or brother. We can’t imagine what it must be like to starve to death, but most of us know what it’s like to lose someone we love.
Please watch the film and make use of the voice you have -- sign the petition. It will make a difference in putting pressure on world leaders to do more to help those in need right now, and live up to promises already made to invest in the things proven to work – early warning systems...irrigation...drought resistant seeds… and of course, peace and security.
Thanks for reading.