Posts Tagged ‘East Africa’

Around Christmas, my mother used to invite the gentleman across the street over for dinner.  We called him Mr. Joe Boy.  He was mentally challenged but living independently with the support of family.  My mom would assemble a plate of food so that he could eat in the living room, and the rest of us could hang out in the kitchen.  She then left Joe Boy to my dad.  My dad was more a people-person than my mom.  He would make small talk with Joe Boy.  The two of them would watch westerns or whatever was on television.  Sometimes Joe Boy would nod off in his chair and we kids would sigh wondering when he was going home.  My mother would frown at us but we knew she was thinking the same thing.  Eventually my dad would nudge him awake and see him to the door.  Over many Christmas holidays that same act would be repeated.  Not because this man was starving for food or asking for anything.  We did it because my mom felt it was the right thing to do, to be neighborly to this man who spent most of his time alone.  It is a trait that I admire in Steve who practices a similar ethos around food and dining.  Food is on my mind today because I finally stopped turning away from the pictures coming out of Somalia and East Africa. Most disturbing are the pictures of the skeletal children.


AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam

This little man in particular gave me pause because he is in such contrast to the picture I shared earlier of my young nephew growing up in this country.  What to do?   If I find some money to give, where should I send it?  Will it have any impact?  I decided I needed to do my homework.  Here’s a bit of what I’ve found so far.

* In response to a donor query, Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator, asked different aid agencies to share what they are doing in the region.  Read more here.

*Interaction, an alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs, has produced a straight forward list of 45 aid agencies with contact information viewable here.

*CNN just posted an article, Famine in East Africa: How You Can Help, providing basic information including simple ways to give via texting and other social networking tools.


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