August 9, 2011
I am absolutely devastated by what’s happening on the Kenya/Somali border. I don’t even know how to respond. The Debaab refugee camp, which is set up for 90,000 currently has 400,000 people living there. From reports I’ve read, disease and desperation are in the air. Desperate Somalis are fleeing their country due to famine. Kenya’s resources are being stretched thin.
Let me back up and say that I’m generally uncomfortable with the notion of “desperate Africans”. The continent is a source of great innovation- and I’m going to be excited to see how they hopefully come into their own in terms of development in the next 20 years. I want to be a part of the puzzle with seeing that happen. So, when I say that I’m heart broken, please know that I’m not feeling sorry for the “poor Africans”. But, my heart is breaking as one human for another. This particular human tragedy happens to be in Africa. The scale of what’s happening is devastating.
In considering how to best be a part of the solution in dealing with poverty, my heart is in the development side. But, right now, they need aid. They need help. They need safe passage to shelter and food without the threat of all types of violence, including gang rape. According to the UN World Food Programme, 11.3 million people are in need of food assistance right now. They need healthcare. They need clean water. They need options for what to do next so that there can be life beyond the refugee camp.
In the past, I’ve given through World Vision during times like this. They are already on the ground in many if not most developing countries. They are already mobilized and have the infrastructure to be able to bring aid efficiently and expediently. Who do you give through? Would you mind letting us in? If you have an organization to recommend, would you please tell us why you chose that organization?
If you’re interested, you can contribute through World Vision here.
If you want to read more about what’s happening on the Kenya/Somali border, click here.