I had a headache today because I didn’t drink enough water. So I bought some, drank and felt better. In the same week 50 children died of thirst while they crossed the African desert with their mothers hoping to get to Europe to escape the death and disease they suffer in their home country.
The news report we were watching showed pictures of the babies in hospitals, suffering of diseases in the country the migrants were trying to escape. My husband quickly changed channels because it was disturbing to watch. Somehow ‘Celebrity Juice’ wasn’t as entertaining as it was before. That is what is hard about watching the news, because what good is witnessing tragedy if you are powerless to do anything about it?
But are we powerless? As a nation, what could we do as a team to alleviate the suffering of women and children in Africa who are risking their lives to escape to Europe? It is shocking that there is the finance and means out there to vaccinate against the diseases African children suffer from and the technology to irrigate so that crops can be grown and children can be fed. I am talking about a much fairer redistribution of wealth so that everyone has the ability to protect their children from harmful diseases, feed and water their children, educate them and protect them. It may mean that the westernised world does away with some of its dependency on the trappings of wealth and that consumerism is watered down somewhat. But I think (and hope) we would all agree that contributing to solving child poverty, famine and death is worth it. It cost my parent’s friend 12000 to irrigate an acre garden in southern Spain so that he could grow a luscious lawn. So why the fuck cant we do the same on a grander scale in Northern Africa? Then mothers wouldn’t need to risk crossing a desert and dying of thirst trying to get to Europe if their homeland was a better environment for their children.
How many more years will we live in denial and switch off news bulletins that disturb us too much? Like most people I would love to help but donating to charity is just a short-term fix – we need someone with a powerful influence to raise the capital to transform the poverty stricken areas of Africa and other countries where child mortality is high and life prospects are low. So far no-one has cared enough to do this. It is difficult to devote your life to a cause at the expense of your family. Which is why we need everyone to work together. A company to provide the irrigation, more medicine, advice for farmers, advice for people wanting to escape the border – so far this has been left to charities but the problem is too big for them to cope. Imagine if everyone in Britain spent 3o minutes a day helping towards a solution to child poverty – I’m pretty confident that within a year significant progress could be made. It just needs some direction and a little project management – I am going to pose this question to Unicef to see what they would suggest how 30 minutes each day could be best spent (aside from raising money). I will let you know what they suggest.
This blog aims to raise money for Unicef by requesting donations from fellow bloggers – for every day of blogging missed a further 1 pound is raised. Check out my page on Unicef’s site here.
Thanks for reading.