Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Why aren’t we outraged about East Africa?

Twitter is a very powerful tool for communication, for spreading information and for simply engaging with people. This has been clearly demonstrated in the past week with the Murdoch’s appearance before parliament, the terrible events in Norway over the weekend and then the death of Amy Winehouse. The tweets on these 3 topics alone has been staggering in number, moving in content and in the case of the Murdoch’s downright amusing. But I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have seen the current drought in East Africa mentioned. An event that is unfolding in front of us, that we can still influence the outcome of and where the scale of the potential cost to human life is way beyond even those in Norway. Yet we don’t talk about it, we aren’t outraged by it or trying to get those in power to do something. Why is this? Have we really all become so obsessed with scandal and celebrity that it doesn’t interest us? Are we actually more The Sun than The Daily Telegraph than we thing? Is this why we were so outraged at the Murdoch’s, because we realised that we had been the ones reading the stories based on hacked messages? The truth hurts sometimes and perhaps it’s time we faced up to it?

Don’t misunderstand me, any loss of human life is tragic, full stop. I cannot asign a higher value to one other another. We should also never make fun of it, something which some tweeters don’t seem to agree on judging by their behavior after Amy Winehouse’s death. But what about those people who weren’t fortunate enough to have become famous singers? Who’s going to tweet RIP for them?

But if we act now then we don’t need to worry about who’s tweeting RIP because we can prevent these deaths. We can get the aid to those that need it and we can make a real difference to their lives. Some areas of East Africa are experiencing the worst drought for 60 years as a result 10 million people are facing a food crisis. The expected rains did not come and many people are struggling to get even one meal a day.

We cannot let these people die, they need our support. One of the charities working to help these people is Save the Children, a charity well supported by bloggers in the past and who are trying to achieve amazing things through their No Child Born to Die campaign. I urge you to provide whatever support you can, I’ve made my donation and written this blog what can you do? If you wrote 10 tweets about the Murdoch’s how about one for Save the Children? Or simply click here and make a donation to the East Africa appeal.

3 Comments

  1. Tricky one this….

    I for one have never commented on the celeb stuff – I hate it and it is of no worth. People like things they can gossip about, that’s one thing I’ve learned in my working life. They prefer a scandal to hearing about suffering and doing something about it. That’s human nature – it’s all about attack and survive, not helping (although there are those out there that don’t follow that trend).

    I also think there is a degree of apathy among people now when it comes to donating money as aid. There isn’t a month goes by where there isn’t a crisis somewhere, where someone needs our money, some are man made problems, some are natural. You become a little jaded, thinking: is it really going to help? How do you choose? You can’t donate to them all, or if you can, you’re lucky.

    I agree, those poor people need help, but I have also read papers suggesting that the land these people live on simply cannot sustain that amount of people. There will be political reasons, sure, which might be solvable, but geography and nature also suggest that the land simply cannot sustain those people. If it’s not them who will suffer, it’ll be their children. Shouldn’t that also be a talking point?

    So short term yes they need our money, assuming it gets to them. But are you going to donate the next time the rain doesn’t come, to help feed the children of the children you helped last time? I bet most people would get tired of that – rightly or wrongly.

    Good on you for supporting this cause if you are.

    • Firstly thanks for taking the time to write an excellent comment.
      I absolutely agree that this is just solving a short term issue and we need to address the fundamental problem around the land being used. Should we keep ‘artificially’ supporting a cause rather than finding somewhere that they can live sustainably?
      My approach to supporting charities is to pick 2 or 3 that I feel strongly about and support them solely. There are so many good causes that you can’t support them all. I have to say though people do get offended sometimes when you say this as though you are a terrible person for not supporting their cause.

  2. Despite yesterdays comment, nothing changes the fact that those children are innocent victims of political, natural and ethical (population growth) issues, and do not deserve to die the way they are.

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