Somali Crisis

On Sunday (8/14/11), we began our gathering crying out to God on behalf of our East African family.  This post is intended to connect us to the drought/famine that the head of the U.N. refugee agency has called, "The worse humanitarian crisis in the world right now." The Story:  The famine is a result of two factors: first, no rain for far too long has resulted in the death of livestock and vegetation and, thus, the death of tens of thousands of human beings.  Second, war has ravaged Somalia.  Conservative and harsh insurgency organization, Al Shabaab, has fallen out of grace with the U.N. and, therefore, has banned aid organizations from bringing any food, water, or medical aid to the hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Today, 10 million people are in dire need.  5 million are children...most of them are malnourished.  Conservative estimates indicated that 29,000 children have died in the past 5 months to starvation, cholera, and measles.  The Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya currently hosts 380,000 Somali refugees...10,000 new refugees arrive each week to Dadaab where the mortality rates are 3 times the rate for emergency ceilings.

Muslima Aden, a mother of four, walked thirty-five days from Somalia to Dadaab.  She lost three of her four children along the way.  In an interview with the U.N. she said, "I became a bit insane after I lost them."

What can we do?  We are becoming a community that follows Jesus into the suffering of others.  We refuse to become paralyzed by the scope of global suffering, choosing instead to make a difference one video, article, prayer, and thoughtful donation at a time.  Below are listed reputable ways to learn and to contribute.

Learn/Listen/Watch: Reuters, BBC, ABC News, Al Jazeera

Contribute Online: ABC Help, Save One, World Vision, Doctors Without Boarders

Reputable Texting Donations:

World Food Programme: text AID to 27722 for a $10 donation.

Save the Children: text SURVIVE to 20222 for a $10 donation.

A Creative, Tangible Solution: A supplement company called Edesia has developed Plumpy'nut, a peanut-paste with milk powder, sugar, and vitamins/minerals.  Plumpy'nut is one of the most effective ways to treat severe acute malnutrition and is easily distributable.  The project, in partnership with Global Giving, will reach 40,000 children.

Pray:  In your daily prayers, include prayers for others such as these...

"Lord, Have mercy on those who suffer."

"Spirt, grant us the wisdom and courage to enter into their suffering and to become the answer to our own prayers."

"Father, give favor to Aid organizations."