The Future for Africa's Children (Niger and Uganda) - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-21-2005, 05:29 PM   #1
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The Future for Africa's Children (Niger and Uganda)

We are all becoming more familiar with some of the challenges that Africa is currently facing through Bono's involvement with ONE and Live8, but I would like to bring to your attention the current situation for some children in two African countries: Niger and Uganda.

Niger in western Africa is the SECOND POOREST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD (with its nearby neighbor Sierre Leone being the world's poorest country) and has been suffering from drought and locust invasion for at least a year.

Because the world has largely turned its face away from Niger's looming catastrophe, Niger is now at risk of losing 3.6 million people, many of them children, to starvation and diseases that prey on sickened people, if the world does not immediately respond with emergency food, medical and other aid to help Niger,

Here is a firsthand report from a great organization, CONCERN, regarding the situation in Niger:

http://www.concernusa.org/news/item.asp?nid=198

I can only hope that you will help Concern with a donation of whatever amount you can to help save as many lives in Niger as possible.

---------------------------------------------

Uganda is a country in east Africa which was especially hit hard by AIDS in the 1990's. Many tens of thousands of children have been orphaned due to AIDS in Uganda (like many other African countries).

One organization which has tried to meet the daily living needs of these children in Uganda is the Uganda Children's Charity Foundation (http://www.uccf.org). These are the children who performed for Bono when he received the Musicares' Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2003. There is also a very famous picture of Bono "dancing" cheek to cheek with one of UCCF's children during his famous trip to Africa in 2002.

Right now, UCCF is in the midst of a fund-raising campaign to help take better care of these children. The GREAT thing about this fundraiser is that any gift you donate is matched dollar for dollar until they reach the $100,000 mark. SO YOUR DOLLAR WILL DOUBLE ITS HELPING POWER!

I have been a supporter of the UCCF since I found out about them in 2003 and have just sent then in a nice donation. I URGE YOU TO DO THE SAME - whatever you can afford will help these beautiful children!

Hurry though - the UCCF's "Celebrating a Decade of Miracles" will only around until 1 September 2005. (if you want your donation to be matched)

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the current situation for children in two African countries.

I hope you have been sufficiently motivated to help.
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:38 PM   #2
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Hmmm......don't know about Niger, but Uganda has been described as one of the most corrupt countries in the world :-

http://www.answers.com/topic/political-corruption

Donations from me so African leaders can open more Swiss bank accounts? Sorry, but no and I say that not to be cynical but to be professionally sceptical.
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:58 PM   #3
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Please, my friend, don't hijack another thread.

Helping a private, nonprofit agency ensure the future survival of innocent children has nothing to do with that country's government.

Both organizations have a great track record for using the money donated to them for actually going to the children they are helping.

No governments are involved.

How could anyone be against that?

Let's skip controversy for controversy's sake on this one.

LOVE IS BIGGER THAN US....
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Old 07-23-2005, 11:57 AM   #4
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Here are several excellent articles regarding the situation in Niger.

The pictures of the children are heart-wrenching:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4699643.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4700173.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/4696149.stm

Let us do whatever we can for them.
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Old 07-23-2005, 12:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
Hmmm......don't know about Niger, but Uganda has been described as one of the most corrupt countries in the world :-

http://www.answers.com/topic/political-corruption

Donations from me so African leaders can open more Swiss bank accounts? Sorry, but no and I say that not to be cynical but to be professionally sceptical.
What makes you so sure that donating to the charity in the above post would lead to money being given to a corrupt politician?
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Old 07-23-2005, 05:25 PM   #6
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Suffering poor children
when does it end . . .
the white bird called "freedom"
needs to show them the way.

carol
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Old 07-23-2005, 10:29 PM   #7
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actualy the problems in Niger are caused by a grasshopper plague and a lack of rain, not by corrupt politicians.
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Old 07-24-2005, 02:59 PM   #8
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If people really looked into the situation in Niger, Rono, people would have known that.

Africa's problems are multidimensional - not everything can be kneejerk blamed on "corrupt politicians". (God, we have corrupt politicians in our own societies.)

And, if we really knew Africa's history, we would be aware of how the countries of Europe and North America have historically helped to get Africa in the dire situation that the continent is in now.

For now, can we just find it in our hearts to help innocent children?
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:27 PM   #9
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I just came across this thread today...and I am ashamed to say I had no idea about the current situations in Africa, besides the snippets of info that they give you on the news from time to time...Thank you Jamila for keeping me informed, I will do my best to make others aware also
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:36 PM   #10
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The Dilemma and The Dream have to become reality........

carol
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Old 07-25-2005, 05:37 PM   #11
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You're very welcome, Carmelu2fan - I'm glad that your heart was moved by this tragedy.

Do whatever you can to help Africa's children - no matter what part of the Continent they live in.

Like Bono has said - they are beautiful, royal people. They deserve our assistance.
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Old 07-26-2005, 04:33 AM   #12
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Jamila,

I found this really great article about Africa and the G8. I don't want to start a new thread, so I hope you don't mind. It is a logical bringing together of those that think great things were done with those not happy with the outcome.

http://www.alternet.org/story/23709/
Measuring Victory

By Rebecca Solnit, Tomdispatch.com. Posted July 26, 2005.


The author of Hope in the Dark explores the misleading 'victory' of debt relief for the poorest countries, as promised at Scotland's G8 summit.
While we were looking at humpbacked whales a few months ago, my companion asked me if I ever thought about how Moby Dick's narrator, Ishmael, survived -- by floating away from the destroyed ship Pequod in his friend Queequeg's coffin.

Whales themselves survived into the twenty-first century in part because of petroleum, the black stuff seeping out of the Pennsylvania earth that made the Rockefellers rich and whale oil unnecessary for lighting lamps (and because of the first international whaling treaty in 1949).

Of course, petroleum went on to create the climate change that threatens habitat for whales and trashes their world in other ways. Typically, there isn't an easy moral to this, any more than there is to Ishmael floating away safely because his friend had terrible premonitions of death. And that's part of the richness of Herman Melville's telling.

The world is full of tales in which morals are hard to extract from facts. There is the delightful fact that Viagra has been good for endangered species like elk whose antlers now are less at risk of being ground up for Chinese aphrodisiacs, surely the greatest inadvertent contribution of big pharmaceuticals in our time.

Casinos have provided many Native American tribes with revenue and clout, though gambling is another kind of social problem and outside groups are the principal profiteers from some of the casinos.

McDonald's has (under intense pressure from animal rights activists) led the way in reforming how meat animals are raised and slaughtered.

Many military sites have become de facto wildlife refuges, saving huge swathes of land from civilian development (even if bombing endangered species is part of the drill).

Then there are those interesting moments when otherwise appalling politicians do something decent for whatever reason or when the principled and the sinister are weirdly mixed -- like anti-abortion, pro-death-penalty Arizona Senator John McCain's passion for addressing climate change or the recently deceased Pope John Paul II's condemnation of neoliberalism. To say nothing of our one great environmental president, Richard Nixon (and, yes, it wasn't out of purity of heart that Nixon got us the Environmental Protection Agency, the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Air and Water Acts, but purity of water and air matter more).

Sometimes, though, I think my compatriots are looking for the real world to provide stories as simple as Sunday school and sports, not as complex as Moby Dick. I would like those victories too. I would have liked it a lot if, after returning from the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, earlier this month, George W. Bush had -- in a live global telecast like the Oscars -- fallen to his knees, apologized profusely to everyone for everything, condemned capitalism, violence and himself, promised to dismantle the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, stop the war in Iraq immediately, and dedicate some of the billions thus saved to African poverty. And that's just for starters. But let's look instead at what we got.

...

Long but a really good read. It gives a welcome perspective of gradual change.
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Old 07-26-2005, 06:35 AM   #13
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I've been reading about it in the paper..here's an article I read this morning

As famine rages, Niger's rural children waste away
Aid begins coming in; villagers still waiting
By Nafi Diouf, Associated Press | July 26, 2005

DAN MALLAM, Niger -- The thatched-roof huts where villagers store grain for the lean season are empty. The day's only meal consists of acacia leaves boiled into a paste, eaten in the evening in hopes it will lull children to sleep.

After months of repeated pleas from the United Nations, international aid is starting to trickle into this West African nation ravaged by drought and locusts. But it has yet to reach villages like Dan Mallam, where the hungry can do little but wait for help and the next harvest.

''Everything that the stomach can contain, we eat . . . anything that can calm the hunger," said Ibrahim Koini, whose gray beard and emaciated frame make him look older than his 45 years. ''We've come to eat the same leaves we give our cows."

The diet of acacia and other leaves is taking a toll on children, whose malnourished state is clear from their swollen bellies and heads that appear too big for the skeletal limbs.

Acacia leaves provide some nutrition, but are inadequate because they lack iron, zinc, magnesium, and protein. Adults can get by on the calories such a diet provides, but calories alone are not enough for children, UNICEF says.

Many children in the Dan Mallam, a village 400 miles east of the capital, Niamey, have stayed home from school because they are too weak to concentrate.

Yacoumba Mati, 13 years old, described by his teacher as a bright student, managed to make it through his final exams. He wants to become a doctor -- and he hopes to leave Niger one day. ''Because here there is nothing to eat," he said.

Most villagers have sold their cows and goats to avoid losing them to the drought. Milk, flour, and meat are too expensive.

Niger's government offers millet at $18 for a 220-pound bag, but that is out of reach for most people

An international aid group has set up a feeding center and clinic 30 miles away in Maradi, but Dan Mallam's villagers can't afford the trip. Adults watch as children's energy, muscles, and weight dwindle.

''I cannot afford to leave the rest of the family behind to take the little one to hospital," said Ibrahim Fakirou, fanning flies from the face of his son, Mouhamou, a 2-year-old wobbling on spindly legs.

''I have to plow my farm to feed the children and my wife is seven months' pregnant," Fakirou said.

Niger's 11.3 million people regularly rank among the world's poorest, and drought and a locust invasion last year have put some 3.6 million of them on the brink of starvation.

The world has been slow to react. The United Nations first appealed for help in November and got almost no response. Another appeal for $16 million in March brought in about $1 million. An appeal May 25 for $30 million has received about $10 million, UN officials say.

But donations have jumped dramatically because of increased media attention and TV images of starving children, said the UN humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland.

Among the aid groups working in Niger is the Kuwait-financed Agency for Muslims in Africa, which is offering emergency assistance in Maradi.

It is providing five balanced meals a day to 300 malnourished children and three to their mothers. And it has opened feeding centers in two nearby villages -- though not in Dan Mallam -- but officials say the group is struggling to cope.

When the first UN appeal was made, only $1 a day for each needy person would have helped solve the food crisis, the United Nations has said. Now $80 is needed each day per person because it is more expensive to treat people once they are weakened by malnutrition, officials say.
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Old 07-26-2005, 07:39 AM   #14
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Okay, Jamila. I took a leap of faith and sponsored a child, due to your efforts.

I get paralyzed by the sheer enormity of problems. But one child, yeah, I can do that.

Thanks.
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Old 07-26-2005, 07:59 AM   #15
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Thanks for keeping people abreast of what is going on here. Thankfully in neighboring Mali we are not at that level of need, since part of the country didn't fall prey to the locust invasion that really pillaged Niger. I read today in a local newspaper that the crops that are being grown for next year seem to be doing well...we are having good rains (in fact, it rained all night last night) but that does nothing for people right now.

If any of you have the ability to contribute even a little bit, it can go a long way towards helping people with less than nothing.
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