Ten years ago, World Vision started working with people in Humbo, Ethiopia, to plant trees. The organization funded the project by selling 'carbon offsets' for the roughly 22,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide that those trees mop up each year. Before planting began, the region's mountainous terrain had been severely degraded.
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.
Fatumo's childhood was contained in the world's largest refugee camp; a place we worry carries a stigma for harbouring victims who await handouts. She fought against a bleak fate that seems sealed by outside media: images of desperate people who refuse to help themselves. Instead she chased a dream to study abroad.
Journalists predicted that the rains would come in October, implying that this would end the crisis. But by then, the planting season will have passed. The rains, if they come, will likely bring flooding and disease. The famine may peak in early December, as we are preparing to celebrate our winter holidays.
The East African famine is a crisis that hits close to home for Warsame -- she was born in Mogadishu, Somalia and has family living there. "It could just have easily been me or my son starving over there," she said.
Most Westerners see the crisis in the Horn of Africa as a combination of a large population, chronic poverty, and corruption, and they believe that none of this will ever change, so giving money to this self perpetuating crisis is throwing it away. But I offer another narrative that I believe is closer to the truth.
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?"
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Muslims around the world mark sundown during the holy month of Ramadan with extravagant dinners to break their daily fasts. That kind of nighttime celebration is unthinkable this...
THE CANADIAN PRESS -- NAIROBI, Kenya - Tens of thousands of Somalis are feared dead in the world's worst famine in a generation, the U.N. said Wednesday, and the U.S. said it will allow emergency fund...