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Horn of Plenty and Horn of Africa


By Adam Di Filippe
On September 23, 2011


Somalia is presently enduring one the worst famines ever.

For many relief workers and seasoned military personal, Somalia is the most dangerous country in the world. At a glance: according to the United Nations Somalia has the highest mortality rate for children under the age of five. There is ever-prevalent denial of humanitarian relief workers bringing food into Somalia, due to the Islamic-fundamentalists control of certain regions. Just over 12 million people in Somalia are in dire need of food and the list goes on.

The other night I sat down for a family dinner, eating seared pork chops, homemade applesauce, and hot mashed potatoes. However, not everyone gets the chance to widen their belt after eating so well. When we sit down to our meals, the last thing we want to do is think about those going without. It's only natural that we have this disconnect, as the majority of my readers are American college students. Even the smallest meal to you is a buffet to people in other parts of the world.

Somalia, like so many other African countries, has been a battleground for warlords and their victims. This is unfortunately the long history of many African countries. Many countries were simply made by dividing up the land when the British colonizers started leaving the continent.

Even though this is by far one of the worst famines, it is important to understand that there are people and food getting in. But as the CEO of Save the Children, Justin Forsyth had said in an interview with CNN, "We are millions of pounds of food short of what we need. Its tough, but its not impossible."

With a perspective closer to home we have Plymouth State University's first year student, Kristy Stiles, whom believes that the US definitely should get involved. Kristy had attended the Invisible Children screening of Tony, a movie that promotes activism in Africa. "We should have more things like that. It helps when people are educated," Kristy shared with me while we discussed how PSU students could get involved.

Most importantly, what can you do to help? Like Kristy said, educate yourself on these issues. Join an organization on campus such as EGAW, Amnesty International, international service trip club, Model U.N. or any of the other great organizations and clubs that help students to understand what they can do to help on a global scale.

Anyone that has followed the events unfolding in Somalia knows that the famine could have been prevented. I know as well as you do that attending a few events on Africa is not going to give us the knowledge and the resources to solve all of the worlds plight. It does, however, begin to cultivate the mindset that we should all have. We all live in the same global community, and we should act accordingly.

As you read this, children will continue to starve, tyrants will rise to power, good people will work themselves to death, and the grand masses will do nothing.

If you have cared enough to read this far, then maybe you care enough to get involved and be the change you wish to see in the world.

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