"Famine" is a word that's rarely and cautiously used by the international aid community. It's reserved for describing the very gravest of human suffering. For the U.N. to declare "famine," a great many people must be dying of starvation. Hunger, even lots of it, isn't enough for an official declaration.
Millions of girls around the world will miss school each month because of their periods. Because they don't have sanitary supplies, because they don't understand what is happening to them, or because they are taught that it means they are unclean and dirty. It doesn't have to be this way.
The Zarathustis, a small minority community who originate in ancient Persia and follow the Lord Zoroaster's teachings, gathered for an event of a lifetime set up within the 10 acres of beautiful lawns of their centre. It was to pay homage to the priests who serve with their hearts and help keep this 5000-year-old religion alive.
Over the following months in 2001, the violence continued in Burundi between the rebels and the government. My passion for my work diminished. I no longer felt like doing anything. I even stopped watching the news on TV, or even listening to it on my own radio station. Everything looked hopeless. In 2002, some Canadian journalists visited Burundi. If I were going to ask for help, it was now or never. Six months later, they invited me to visit Canada, and I jumped on the opportunity. I arrived in Canada with $60 in my pocket -- my mother's life savings.
In Kenya, the average cost of a package of sanitary pads is 75KSH -- approximately $1 CAD. While this may seem like a minimal amount of money, the average daily income for unskilled labourers is around $1.50 CAD. Providing access to healthy and sustainable menstrual management materials allows women to stay safe, and healthy, and does not sacrifice her ability to participate in work, school or daily activities.
On April 25 of this year, the Ethiopian government made news by arresting six bloggers and three freelance journalists. It is now over 100 days, and counting, since the six Zone 9 bloggers and the three freelance journalists were thrown into Ethiopian prison cells. The nine writers are facing terrorism-related charges, standing accused of inciting violence through social media.
Maryanne Waweru-Wanyama created an online resource for Kenyan mothers to connect and share stories. Due to combining both passions: motherhood and journalism, she was offered a chance to attend a digital media workshop by Internews, an international media development organization, and accepted.
Since 2006, when the residing Kenyan government signed an economic cooperative agreement with China and partnering Asia-Pacific countries, there has been a concurrent influx of 'yellow faces'. The relatively new entrants are professionals and labourers contracted to bolster the two nations' budding alignment on various aspects of development. Most visible is the construction of infrastructure, such as buildings, energy sources and roads
Kampala has many advantages driving growth. It is resource rich. From a tourism perspective, the country is beautiful and, in comparison to Nairobi or Cape Town, it's quite safe. In some ways the country is well suited to lead Africa in economic development. Like being in the dark, literally. Unreliable electricity goes beyond being a mere hindrance; it can be life threatening.
David Arap Kilel nearly stumbles up the hill of his slanted farm in pinstripe pants tucked into knee-high gum boots, wet despite the neighbouring dry fields. "I'm the first home in my community with irrigation!" he shouts breathlessly, waving calloused hands.
The crisis in East Africa has prompted Canadians to open their wallets and their hearts, but with the sheer number of government agencies, NGOs and private sector organizations responding to humanitarian crises, it remains difficult to know who to support and how much of the money will actually get there.
Western intervention and generosity are necessary and life-saving, but unless new practices that promote new methods of conservation can be ushered in, we'll be hearing of regional famines for years to come.
Those in the Horn of Africa who are in the midst of a famine are facing hunger and malnutrition on a scale few of us can comprehend. Even so, I've been dismayed by web-chatter to the effect of, "How long can we be expected to keep feeding these Africans who don't seem to be able to fend for themselves?"
THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA - Aid organizations and refugee advocates are pressing the Conservative government to take more action to address the worsening humanitarian crisis in East Africa, includi...