Friday, August 12, 2011

A little child shall lead them

I was going to post today about yesterday's debate, why it's Exhibit A in why the GOP doesn't seem to know what the heck it's doing anymore, and why--alas!--I don't think Rick Perry is a good alternative for post-party Catholic conservatives such as myself.

But that will have to wait.

Because this story is much, much more important:
Andrew Adansi-Bonnah is 11. And during his eight-week school holiday, he wants to raise 20 million Ghanaian cedis — or about $13 million — for his cause by walking office to office collecting donations in Ghana's capital, Accra. [...]

Andrew said he was inspired by images of skeletal babies and stick-thin children he saw on television, which led him to name his campaign Save Somali Children from Hunger.

"There are hungry people in Ghana but our situation is not as desperate as the people of Somalia," said the skinny, soft-spoken boy.
Beautiful, no? But it gets better:
Andrew said he is confident he can raise all of the money. Ghanaians on average earn $2,500 a year, compared to Somalia's average yearly income of $600, according to 2010 CIA estimates. [...]

"This is a moment that mankind can touch lives," he said. "There is no point for others to have so much to eat while others have nothing to eat. It is not right."
No, sweet boy, it's not right.

I went here right away to make a small donation; Catholic Relief Services may at times draw my ire for various reasons, but at least I can be fairly sure that money donated to CRS to provide emergency food and water supplies to the people of East Africa won't be spent on condoms and IUDs instead.

Like many people, I've been horrified at the stories coming out of Somalia and other parts of East Africa. The thought of those long, desperate treks across hostile land in search of food; the horror stories of parents abandoning dead and dying little ones along the road; the slow and sometimes indifferent-seeming response of the international community to the crisis--all of these things make for hard reading or viewing.

But it's easy to feel helpless, to get bogged down in everyday life and forget one's good intentions to help out through whatever donations one can make and to add these suffering brothers and sisters to our daily prayers; I've certainly been guilty of that.

If you can--if it is financially possible for you to do so--can you send a little relief to Somalia today? The link to Catholic Relief Services' East Africa Drought appeal is here; feel free to add links to other organizations in the comment boxes if you think these will be useful (but only links for direct aid to Somalia/East Africa are sought at this time).

An eleven-year-old boy in Ghana, a country that has had its own share of desperate poverty, believes that his efforts to raise money for the suffering in Somalia can make a difference. Let's be inspired by that trusting faith, and add our efforts to his, here in this land of plenty!


Siarlys Jenkins said...

I don't know why a nice, obvious piece like this gets no comments. I guess it is because there is not red hot debate to engage in. This makes a lot of sense, although at the moment I still feel that I really can't do that -- not until I'm certain I can pay September rent, which is about 1/8 what the average person in Nigeria makes in a year.

But its equally true that we shouldn't callously ignore this situation, we should be inspired by this young man's example, and we really can't fix every problem all around the world this way. We can feed people, but we can we set them up in a sustainable situation for the medium term future?

L. said...

L. said...

Above was a link to a list of 45 major charities.

Here's some background on from a group that evaluates charities:

Diamantina da Brescia said...

How can we as individuals set up the people of East Africa in a sustainable situation for the medium to long term, Siarlys? I don't know. Pray for a functioning, cohesive government that is not dominated by corrupt warlords?

I am on SSI and receive a bit less per month what the average Somali receives per year, but I thought that I could at least give a few dollars to Catholic Relief Services. It is a pity, though, that that would only go to the most pressing needs.

Everybody alive should be entitled to a life of comfort (good physical and mental health, excellent food and lodging, fine education, fulfilling job, a life as free from adversity as humanly possible, etc.) just because they were conceived and born, and it is a shame that so few have that kind of life. What can we do to ensure that all people are entitled to a life of comfort? I know I must sound silly, but I truly believe that everyone who is conceived is entitled to comfort in this life and (God willing) perfection in the next.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Siarlys-- I'm guessing there are no comments because EVERYONE agrees with the post-- I mean, liberal, conservative, Catholic, neo-Pagan, we can all agree that charity is a good thing.

And since it's individual almsgiving, there's not even any big government vs. libertarian argument to have.....

I'm still curious on the Rick Perry thing--I assume that one of Erin's objections is his insane love for the death penalty, but I'm curious about her others... especially since my red state somehow became a swing state, which means I don't have the luxury of going third party and will have to vote for the lesser of two evils instead.


John E. said...

and why--alas!--I don't think Rick Perry is a good alternative for post-party Catholic conservatives such as myself.

Red, Rick "Trans-Texas-Corridor-Gardasil" Perry isn't a good choice for anyone

Social Conservatives - Bachmann or Santorum

Fiscal Conservatives - Ron Paul

Electable in General Election - Romney

Perry doesn't fit anywhere that isn't already filled by someone else.

Red Cardigan said...

Deirdre, I am planning to talk about Perry on Monday or Tuesday (whenever I get to the political post) but John has brought up two big issues: Trans-Texas Corridor and Gardasil. So I'll do a brief discussion of them now.

The TTC was a huge plan for a foreign land grab that would have weakened our sovereignty and border, run roughshod over the notion of eminent domain, and set up business monopolies all along the obscene length of the thing--to say nothing of turning one of our areas most traveled highways into a toll road and increased its already busy traffic structure. Perry wasn't able to implement it--but bits of it keep trying to sneak in, and I'm not convinced it's dead yet.

The Gardasil thing gets complicated b/c some assume social conservatives oppose Gardasil because we think people who are promiscuous deserve cervical cancer, or something stupid like that. We don't. If 100% of cervical cancer cases came from HPV, and 100% protection were guaranteed by the shot, and the shot were 100% safe, (or even close!) I doubt anyone would oppose it. But the numbers are way less impressive: some 70% of cervical cancer cases *might* be linked to persistent HPV infection; the vaccine *might* have an unknown efficacy against them (proponents try to go for 70 or 80% efficacy rates, but those estimates run from wishful thinking to downright propaganda, and can't be substantiated by the scientific research I've seen thus far), and--big BIG problem: the shot appears to be more dangerous than traditional vaccines, with (IIRC) some 56 deaths in this country so far and scores of other side-effects suffered. To mandate such a shot for ALL sixth-grade girls in Texas public schools was madness--or, actually, it was rank cronyism, given Perry's generous donors and friends in Merck's (the vaccine manufacturer's) circle.

Bottom line: Perry is the Texas-drawling, Evangelical version of Mitt Romney--a big government fiscal "conservative" with executive-style hair and lots of friends he'd like to get on the government payroll. The only good thing about him is his sincerity against abortion--but a lot of his "red meat" conservatism and base-pandering is a recent development (since Obama was elected, in fact).

Deirdre Mundy said...

Thanks! And I look forward to next week's post, too. I didn't know about the TTC or the Gardisal thing--- which is why I figured asking a Texan for info was my best bet! :)

Deirdre Mundy said...

Wow-- Perry's looking even LESS good:

Too bad--I was hoping for a governor who was less annoying than Romney....

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Deirdre, I think you're right, but I wrote because this excellent post everyone can agree on looked awfully lonely with 0 comments. Can't we all say something when there is nothing in the original post to object to?

But since you mentioned Romney, he's not one tenth the man his father was.

Word Verification: memes
When di Richard Dawkins take over the mechanics of verifying comments?

Beloved said...

Thank you for this link, I pray God will have mercy on them and on us. There's been so much unrest, disaster and violence in the world this past year.