Today I’d like us to take a moment out of our hectic schedules to read this fact.
22,000 children die every single day – worldwide.
Huh? That seems a lot. Well it is fact. It is true. United Nations say so and they seem pretty much on the ball.
Why? How can this be?
Well mostly due to that old chestnut known as poverty. The usual culprits of poverty are lack of food, lack of fresh water, lack of basic health care, lack of education on hygiene, lack of basic resources.
Ignorance is not bliss. Rarely, very rarely do we hear this figure hitting the headlines. Our awareness and interest is usually only reignited when a high-profile music fest is organised with lots of over indulged celebrities performing and denoting some of their massive fortunes, we all get a fun day out into the bargain. Hey it does draw in the crowds and creates some awareness which shouldn’t be sniffed at, however often our interest soon dies down once the hangovers have subsided and we get back to our busy lives.
Right now, this very moment – there are 10 million people facing a severe food crisis due to a terrible, worsening drought across the Horn of Africa. Half the kids arriving at refugee camps from Somalia are malnourished, barely able to stand or speak anymore. Imagine if this was our precious child? Conflict is a major part of daily life and now to add insult to injury these people are facing the worst drought in sixty years.
How can we have this in 2011? How can we have such stark and hideous disparity in the Western world? In the Western world we have more food than we can shake a stick at – check your fridge for out of date stir fry sauces or tomato’s that are a bit too ripe now. Look around yourself in the local supermarket – people trot around with trolley loads of tasty treats. How many times have you thrown some potato’s out that you have forgotten all about? I know I have! Most of us have been guilty of over buying or cooking far too much food and throwing it out as waste.
So what the hell are we supposed to do about this terrible polar opposite existence that goes on and on? If you have the answers and solutions please share? The first hurdle is awareness. Breaking through the ignorance. Bashing ignorance swiftly on the head and saying , ‘look at these people! They are people and they need help now!‘ But then what? How can we help? How can we roll our sleeves up and really help these people and bring them back from the blink of death? Clearly the model of support we have right now is not enough.