Saturday, June 28, 2008

Food Shortages

My heart is breaking at horrible food shortages in Ethiopia right now. Experts are saying that conditions are so precarious that it's possible the Ethiopian people could be facing a famine like the one that killed over 1 million Ethiopians in the 1980s.

In this African nation, about 10 million people, more than 12 percent of the population, are now in need of emergency food aid after a drought wiped out harvests. But because grain is now twice as expensive as a year ago – if it is available at all – there is not enough food in Ethiopia to feed everyone in need.

Some aid workers are concerned that the combination of forces could force the country into the worst crisis since the infamous Ethiopian famine that killed an estimated 1 million people and was brought home to millions of television viewers across the world in the mid-1980s.

Mothers are forced to take their children to food clinic to try and get something to feed them and watch as doctors decide if their children are sick enough to qualify for help.
One by one, the children are placed on a scale hanging from a makeshift wooden stand.

The mothers look pleadingly at the Doctors Without Borders aid worker, but he keeps his eyes on his clipboard, tallying the figures that determine whether each child is sick enough to eat today.

These are the images and stories that would have me changing my TV channel in the past; sure that there was nothing I could do that would impact such a large problem. Now, when I look into the faces of these children I see MY son. If the coin had fallen the other way, he would be one of those children sitting on a scale, praying to be sick enough to eat. I worry about his first family, who we know nothing about. Are they starving? Does he have brothers and sisters that cry with empty bellies? The images I conquer up making sleeping a night a fitfully affair.

Now, it's not about those people over there starving, it's about family. Even though gas prices are high, food prices in the US are on the rise, and the cost of keeping my family is lot more today then it was last year, I know that I have more than enough money, food, and time. I'm giving help where ever I can and I pray that more and more people will join me.

(warning - this video is not for the feint of heart)


Jenny said...

Well said, Carrie. How can we NOT do something? Like you said, that's my family over there. They need us. We need find ways to help, not only for them, but for the sake of our children.

bodegalee said...

Ethiopia has long been on my heart. Our family is complete (how I wished we'd started earlier, but that's beside the point)... Long before our last adoption I'd been thinking about the best way to contribute. Sponser a child? I've only read a small portion (an essay excerpt but have the book) of "There is no me without you". After hearing about this amazing woman, and how one person TRULY made such a difference, I was so wanting to do something. Do you have suggestions on the best way to help? Which orgs to send money to, and/or sponser a child (altho the money at this point would probably be better served helping many). Any thoughts appreciated!