This time, For Africa

11 Aug 2011 11:16 #41319 by Sapadu
This time, For Africa was created by Sapadu
According to the United Nations, a famine is declared when “acute malnutrition rates among children exceed 30 percent, more than 2 people per 10,000 die per day and people are not able to access food and other basic necessities.”

That is now the case in two regions of southern Somalia, southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle, both controlled by the militant group the Shabab.

The New York Times

Kadija's eyes barely opened. They were stiff from the heat, and she didn't have the strength to do more than open them and glance around, just a little. She'd been itching the whole day before, but hadn't had the energy to reach out and do it, and her arms felt so thin and her fingers so brittle that she imagined stretching them to her head or feet to scratch would have made them crumble into dust.

Around her, she could hear others moaning, whimpering, crying, and, from further away, someone howling like a wild animal. There were others, she knew, with families. There were children smaller than her, too small to comprehend their own pain as they withered. There were children bigger than her, who she had seen curled up on mats, just as she was, with sores all over their heads and their eyes gazing out vacantly. There were parents, every one of them as stick-like as their children. Some of them were somber and quiet, trying to give their families hope. Many of them were grieving.

Kadija had seen that on day one. Now, she couldn't see at all. And, with her good ear pressed to the mat, she could only barely hear them wailing. There must be new ones, now.

She also knew there were more others. Others with weapons. Others who had taken her and her parents and her brothers off the bus to Kenya and kept them here.

She hadn't felt her father's hand on her head for a few days, now. After her brothers had wasted from cholera, he'd patted her head every day, mumbling that he'd find a way to save her, somehow. Kadija wondered if he'd gone to find a doctor.

If he had, she knew, he needn't have bothered.


'Well, THAT was cheerful.' Daline commented, sarcastically. Almost immediately, Lu, Silus, and Tom jumped on her with bared teeth. Jack didn't try to stop them -- Daline could fight well enough and she wasn't about to punish the half-animal characters for reacting to the callous statement when they'd actually starved a few times, themselves.

'What are your thoughts, Miss Author?' The Count asked, ignoring his sister shouting for help. Jack leaned back.

"What's going on in Somalia is a combination of environmental factors combined with political problems that's taking a human toll. Partly, I'm asking for prayers and thoughts. But, really, I'd like to call the members of the Temple to action -- write to their senators, governors, prime ministers, or what have you, and urge them to do something -- send aid, send diplomatic efforts, or whatever they can. Even in America, the president could assume moral leadership and put pressure on the government in Somalia to stop the Shabab from keeping the people contained in the refugee camps -- I don't care if we are in a financial crisis; that's no excuse for not taking a stand, and it wouldn't cost us a penny."

'And what do you plan on doing?' The Count pressed.

"I plan on looking up information on what I CAN do." She replied, with an unspoken 'As always.'

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