We need to stop the lack of response to the horn of Africa crisis

When I was asked if I could publish the below guest post with regards to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Africa I was faced with a moral dilemma. Let me explain.
The original post included images of malnourished African children and as much as I support Sarah Lenssen’s work I won’t post those types of pictures on here. So I responded saying that and it was agreed that I would only publish the content. I kept this photo of our guest blogger Sarah and her daughter, however.
I strongly believe that we can help people without robbing them of their dignity and presenting them in their most deprived state to the whole world and I’m weary of the long-term damage done by portraying Africans in this manner, even in times like this.
Yet that said, this is not the time to prioritize ideological beliefs when over 13 million people face the risk of famine. We have a responsibility to help. And I admire and cherish people like Sarah who are working so hard to save lives.
Let’s not ignore this situation because we are frustrated by the media representation. Read, contribute and share.
guest blogger: Sarah Lenssen from Ask5for5

First, thanks to MsAfropolitan for allowing me to post on her blog today!
Today, more than 25 bloggers, including MsAfropolitan, are standing with me to Ask 5 for 5 for Africa. Here’s why….

I began pursuing a BIG dream two weeks ago. After deciding I could no longer avoid the news about the famine in the horn of Africa, I had that gut feeling that I couldn’t sit this one out. I HAD to do something because I could. Something bigger than I could do alone. That’s when #Ask5for5 was born.

Two of my children, Ashen and Bereket, were adopted and are from the region affected by the drought in Ethiopia. They would be two of the statistics if they still lived there. I see my son’s and daughter’s faces in the photos of those suffering in the refugee camps. It could have been him. It could have been her. The thought haunts me.

And moms just like us are watching their children go hungry day after day. I can’t imagine what it’s like, but I have to –I have to be there to help them, because it could have been my children. These families have lost their livestock, their crops, food prices are inflated at the market if there any food there, and don’t have any more lifelines to tap into. Many are traveling hundreds of miles through parched land in hope of finding help. Many are dying along the way. It is estimated that 29,000 children have died in the last 90 days in the famine in Somalia alone.

But I KNOW we can do something about it. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, we can rally ourselves and our friends to respond! I set up a fundraiser through See Your Impact. 100% of your gift will go to the relief and development organization World Vision, where it will be combined with government grants to multiply up to 5 times in impact!

You’ll receive updates on just how your funding is being used to help save lives affected by famine in East Africa. I’m amazed at how much we’ve raised already — over $7,000 in just four days! We blew through our first 3 goals in just 3 days and are well on our way to $10,000 and beyond!

I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (http://seeyourimpact.org/members/ask5for5)
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter, and join our page to stay updated too!

I’m also looking for 100 bloggers to stand with Ask5for5 to spread the word during Social Media week, September 19th – 23rd. If you’re interested, email me, ask5for5@gmail.com.

Thanks! Please donate and email your friends right now–don’t wait for a calmer moment, because if you’re like me, other demands inevitably crop up and you won’t get to it. A child’s life hangs in the balance, but you can help save her!

photos courtesy of Cate Turton / Dept. for International Development

  • http://www.lettersfromval.com Val

    Thanks for this post. Sarah Lensenn is an inspiration; I’m embarrassed at how little I’m doing to help others, and motivated to help in the ways that I can (a donation, spreading awareness– not enough, but a start)… Ask5for5’s call is strong and doable.

  • MsAfropolitan

    Hi Val, thanks for the comment, I’m glad the post was a motivation