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Please begin with an informative title:

Have you ever been hungry ?

No, I don't mean, missed-breakfast-and-it's-Noon-hungry.

I mean, so hungry that it's takes every bit of strength you have to put one foot in front of the other.

Have you ever lived where the only food is not just blocks or miles away, it is days away, and the only way you have to get there is by foot ?

Have you ever had to make the decision to leave one of your starving children behind when you walk to the food, because he is too weak to make it that far and you have to save the lives of your other children ?

         No, me neither.

         To most of us it is incomprehensible.

To mothers and fathers in East Africa today, it is reality.

         What I can relate to, as someone who has been on welfare for the last year and a half while I go through the disability process, is the feeling of standing in line to be given food.

         There is a feeling of loss, because you don't have any say in what you are given to eat.

         There is a feeling of humiliation, because you have lost the ability to provide for yourself and your family.

         There is a feeling of resignation, because you know that standing in this line is what you have to do.

         Yet too, there is a feeling of grace, because you feel blessed that the food and the people handing it out are there.

         There is a feeling of gratitude, for the people who donated the food.

         If it is done right, the people and organizations handing out the food treat us as friends, as opposed to numbers, so we feel dignity.

         I pray that my sisters and brothers in East Africa are treated with kindness and respect, and that they feel dignity and love.

         I pray that you have an open heart to the millions of fellow humans who are starving in East Africa.

Intro

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In the 1980s there was a massive dought in Africa, centred in Ethiopia.
    Musicians in three countries at least, got together and created songs to raise money to help feed the people who were starving. As many of you will remember, the song by the American singers was called We Are the World. It was written in collaboration by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. In England, the song was "Do They Know It's Christmas?" The Canadian song was "Tears Are Not Enough".  I'm including it here, because, to me, it has the message for today. Are we, are you, just going to cry, or are you going to step up and do something ?

Tears Are Not Enough

As every day goes by
How can we close our eyes
Until we open up our hearts

We can learn to share
And show how much we care
Right from the moment that we start

Seems like overnight
We see the world in a different light
Somehow our innocence is lost

How can we look away
’cause every single day
We’ve got to help at any cost

We can bridge the distance
Only we can make the difference
Don’t ya know that tears are not enough

If we can pull together
We could change the world forever
Heaven knows that tears are not enough

It’s up to me and you
To make the dream come true
It’s time to take our message everywhere

C’est l’amour qui nous rassemble
D’ici ? l’autre bout du monde
Let’s show them canada still cares
You know that we’ll be there

If we should try together you and i
Maybe we could understand the reasons why
If we take a stand every woman, child and man
We can make it work for god’s sake lend a hand

So, what can you do to help?

     Can you recommend or tip or comment in this diary, so it gets more profile, so more people see it and might give money ? If this diary stays on the rec list until Kossacks on the West Coast wake up, I bet we can raise a thousand dollars.

     Can you give even a dollar ? A dollar will save a life for today.
          I know what it is to live in poverty or difficult circumstances, so if you can't, I completely understand and identify, but if you can give a dollar, I would be grateful with my whole heart.  

      I will match all challenges up to $10. I'm earnestly hoping that there are many more donations, but it's the amount that I can give. Will you join me ? Please.

Here is all the information:

East Africa Food Crisis: 48 Hours of Action

This weekend, Daily Kos is participating in 48-Hour Fundraiser hosted by environmental websites and nonprofit organizations to benefit the 12 million people struggling for survival in the East African countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.  Last week, the United Nations announced famine -- already declared in two districts -- is likely to spread throughout southern Somalia. This week, the UN issued a warning that food insecurity in northern Uganda is sufficiently alarming to raise the possibility that the country might become the fifth nation impacted by the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in sixty years.

Also participating in this weekend of action are 350.org, Oxfam International, WiserEarth, tcktcktck, DeSmogBlog, MIT Climate CoLab, BPI Campus, Climate Change: The Next Generation, RedGreenAndBlue.org, Cool HIVE, MedicMobile, and The Enough Project.

Over the course of the weekend, experts in the field of humanitarian assistance will join environmental writers to outline the history of the region and detail how geopolitics, colonialism, ongoing civil wars, climate change and geographic vulnerabilities have combined to create the perfect storm now ravaging East Africa.

Photobucket

Each participating organization is choosing its particular group for donated funds.  Daily Kos is donating all monies raised to directly support the work of Oxfam in the Horn of Africa.  Please add $.01 to your donation so it ends up being $5.01, $20.01, $50.01, $100.01, and so on.  This will enable Oxfam to keep track of all Daily Kos donations.

Click here to Go directly to Oxfam's donation page, which will enable us to keep track of how much money we raise.  

Please read this if you live outside the United States - to make a donation, click this link and scroll down a bit to find your country.  If not listed, please Google Oxfam in your country.  

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CLICK THE BELOW LINK TO MAKE A DONATION

Please read this if you live outside the United States - to make a donation, click this link and scroll down a bit to find your country.  If not listed, please Google Oxfam in your country.  

The Schedule of Diaries for the Blogathon:

Saturday, August 6th - PST
6-8: UnaSpenser - 48forEastAfrica: a strident appeal.
10-12: rb137 - 48 for East Africa: Millions and Counting.
12-3: wader - 48 for East Africa: Let's Change This News.
3-6: FishOutOfWater - 48forEastAfrica: Climate Change is Increasing Drought & Hunger in East Africa.
6-9: A Siegel - 48forEast Africa: Shadows ... Out of Sight, Out of Mind ....
9-12: Oke - 48 Hours for East Africa - Use Your Beehive to Save Lives.
Overnight: Laura Heaton - 48forEastAfrica: Laura Heaton Interviews Somalia Expert Ken Menkhaus.

Sunday, August 7th - PST
6-8: blue jersey mom - 48 for East Africa: Foreign Aid, a Birthday and a Challenge.
8-10: JekyllnHyde - 48ForEastAfrica - Millions of People Need Your Attention and Help
8-10: jamesgreysonFollow - 48 for East Africa: Look both ways before you cross.
8-10: engagejoe - 350 Africa Organizer: Reporting from the Frontlines.
12-2: Ellinorianne - 48 for East Africa: Women and Children
2-4: Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse: 48forEastAfrica: Murdoch's Repulsive Famine 'Cartoon'
4-6: Daisy Carlson (CoolHIVE.org) - 48 For East Africa: Making the Planet Cooler by Helping to Integrate Vibrant Ecology
6-9: jlms qkw - 48 For East Africa: The Why, and the How
9-12: boatsie: 48forEastAfrica: If I Were Anderson Cooper ...
Overnight: Chacounne

And because I was nostalgic for them:

We Are The World

Do They Know It's Christmas Time At All?

       Please, we are ALL part of ONE family, the HUMAN family.

                      With gratitude and respect,
                              Heather

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Standing for justice and accountability, for Dan on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 12:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, Environmental Foodies, Inherent Human Rights, Progressive Policy Zone, Team DFH, East Africa Food Crisis: 48 Hours of Action, Spiritual Organization of Unapologetic Liberals at Daily Kos, Anglican Kossacks, and DKOMA.

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