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.

There is already an abundance of excellent writing on this topic this weekend.  All of my co-diarists have thoroughly covered the whats, whys, whens, etc. of the situation in Eastern Africa.  I especially want to point out wader's news review, Adam Siegel's historical perspective, and the utterly touching pleas ofOke, blue jersey mom, and Ellinoriane.  

One less-covered part of this story is why do we do what we do?  Why do I do what I do?  And how can we/I help?

Long ago and far away, before Ronald Reagan gave us the word "homeless", there were hoboes and bums.  My grandma took me along when she took meals to these men in her village.  I began assembling the 1970's version of personal care kits.  I was told to "eat your peas and lima beans because the children in China are starving."  

I was taught by actions and words to think of other people from my earlier memories.  

This altruism stuff is tricky.  I went to college and learned about Maslov along the way.  

I believe that humans are made, genetically wired, to live in community.  Whether you believe in humanity, or not, or believe in a high power, or not, doesn't really matter here.  There's a reason the hermit is an exception.  

We feel better about ourselves when we reach out to other people.  And science agrees:  Altruism promotes  mental health, physical health, and stress management.

My friend AD put it this way:

from anotherdemocrat's comment: I do what I do because people I love desperately are affected by this disease & I want to help them. I want people I don't know to have the help they need.

The big movement in this country is to make health care a basic right.  We can all agree that food, water, and shelter are basic human needs and rights.  It's 2011, and it's sad that there are hungry people in this country (the USA) and around the world.  

This East Africa famine is a HUGE problem - root causes going back decades.  Planet-wide climate change.  Religious war.  Tribalism.  It is nearly endless.  And so overwhelming.  It will take a lot of hard work and clever people to solve this one.  

And if you are reading this diary, there are things you can do too.  That make a difference right now.  

Thing one:  be aware.  
Thing two:  Click to donate.  If you're rushed for time, I recommend "children" and "global warming."  Click here to donate for a hunger campaign, and there are other links at this site as well.  

Thing three:  Donate.  I am matching 50 cents to each of your dollars.  And I will draw for a knitting toy.  

I don't care if you give up a fancy coffee.  This gal raised big bucks by not buying yarn, and asking her friends to not buy yarn too.  

Maybe you don't like Obama.  Maybe you do.  Maybe it's your birthday.  Maybe you can eat one less expensive meal this week.  Maybe you're wearing purple.  Maybe you hate purple.  

My point is, we can all do something.  And if my match isn't met, I might donate the difference to Orrin Hatch's campaign.  ;-)  


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.

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.


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.


Schedule of Daily Kos Diaries - August 6th and August 7th

  • Saturday, August 6th - PST

6-10: Una Spencer: 48forEastAfrica: A Strident Appeal
10-12: rb137: 48forEastAfrica: Millions and Counting
12-3: wader: 48 for East Africa: Let's Change This News
3-7: FishOutofWater: 48forEastAfrica: Climate Change is Increasing Drought & Hunger in East Africa
7-9: Adam Siegel: 48forEast Africa: Shadows ... Out of Sight, Out of Mind ...
9-12: Oke: 48 Hours for East Africa - Use Your Beehive to Save Lives
1-6 PST:  Laura Heaton (Enough Project): 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: James Greyson: Blindspot:48 for East Africa: Look both ways before you cross
10-12: 350.org: Samantha Bailey: 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
9-12: boatsie
Overnight: Chacounne

Cartoon Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide/Africa.  The group featured in the cartoon, Al Shabab, is the radical Islamist group engaged in a civil war with the Somali government.  It has been compared to the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Originally posted to East Africa Food Crisis: 48 Hours of Action on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 06:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, Inherent Human Rights, Progressive Policy Zone, Spiritual Organization of Unapologetic Liberals at Daily Kos, Team DFH, Anglican Kossacks, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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