"Listening to the stories of these Somalis left my heart aching. Consider one man I met who had just trekked across the desert and arrived at Dadaab: Bele Muhammad, a 45-year-old farmer. Two of his children had starved to death in the previous three weeks, he told me. A 14-year-old boy, Abdul Aziz, died first, and then an 8-year-old girl, Fatuma. Mr. Bele’s wife and six remaining children were near death, so he set out on foot with 50 others to walk to Kenya to scout a route.
It was a horrific 10-day journey, partly because eight armed bandits attacked his group shortly after it crossed the Kenyan border. “The robbers asked me for money, and I said I had none,” Mr. Bele recounted.
The bandits separated the men from the women and then, he thinks, raped the women. The bandits tortured the men with fire to find where they had hidden money; Mr. Bele showed me the burns on his face and arms.
Finally, the bandits realized he had nothing and released him. And now, despite the ordeal, Mr. Bele is sending word back to his family that his three strongest children, ages 4 through 12, should set out and try to walk to Dadaab — even if that means they will be attacked by bandits, even tortured or raped along the way.
“If they stay in Somalia, they will die of hunger,” he said bluntly. That’s what the choice comes down to for many Somalis: Do they risk starvation at home or torture and rape while fleeing?
As for his wife, Mulki, and the other three children, Mr. Bele says they are simply too weak to attempt the journey.”
No human on earth should ever have to deal with a situation like this. The developed world takes so much for granted. Without pointing out the obvious fact that these people have no food, even something as simple as basic infrastructure is lacking in the horn of Africa. Think about that. There are still entire cities of people who are EXACTLY like you and I, and they have to walk across the desert, trying to find food. Being raped and robbed is not just a fear for them, but a near certainty.
Stop disconnecting yourselves and think about this.
750,000 are going to starve to death in the next few months. Not counting the starfish mentality, it’s too late to help. We dropped the ball, despite warnings of impending crisis last year. Tens of thousands have already died. 750,000 is over 100,000 more than the population of Baltimore City, Maryland.
Source: Glimpses of the Next Great Famine.
The photo is from the Sudanese famine of the early 90’s. The child was fighting his way to an aid camp less than a mile away. The vulture was waiting for his meal to die.
How to help: Donate. Donate your morning coffee money to CARE or Doctors Without Borders. Both organizations are providing aid to refugee camps in Kenya and have helped millions already. Mr. Bele’s four year old child needs that $5 worth of food a hell of a lot more than you do.
Also, play Free Rice instead of Facebook stalking when you’re bored. Back to that starfish theory - What’s 200 grains of rice to the famine? Not much, but it’s everything to the teenager who’s eating it.
Reblog this, but don’t stop there.