Over the past days and weeks I have been coming across more and more about the crisis in the Horn of Africa. As the situation continues to worsen, my heart continues to break over the humanitarian crisis. The horn of Africa will always hold a very special place in my heart and as I read the articles and watch the videos (as hard as it is) I can't help but think about how that could be Malachi, or that could be Malachi's biological family members. As Peter and I continue to read Radical by David Platt, I always think of how he says that it is easier to ignore the orphans until you actually look them in the eyes. Now, that I have been to Africa and have seen these people, I can't help but be moved to action. These videos REALLY TRULY ARE people - who are dying of starvation! Starvation that I can't even fathom!!!
Here are some links to few articles and video's about the crisis. The situation is truly dire! (Grab some kleenex!)
So of course my first reaction, is I must go back and scoop up those babies and bring them home :) That is what I wish I could do, but that is not the answer. Adoption definitely does have a time and a place, but this isn't what most of these children need. What they and their families need is food and ASAP! Even if adoption were the answer to this crisis, by the time the paperwork is done and the countries have processed the adoption - it would be too late.
So with adoption out of the question, and physically going over there and helping out too - what they really need is our money. Unfortunately that is the last thing that I want to give up, I am human, what can I say. But again, I am reminded of David Platt and how he reminds us that we will go before God someday and he will want to know what we did to help the starving and the poor and the orphan all around us. I don't want to die with thousands of dollars in the bank when it could have gone to help people in need.
The biggest challenge I see facing this, even though all the aid organizations are saying this is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today, is that people are not recognizing the problem because it isn't broadcast in the news like the big natural disasters that get the money (Japan and Haiti Earthquakes to name a few). Most still remain unaware of this and so the funds aren't pouring in as they would for an immediate natural disaster.
So with that being said, I set out to find some organizations meeting the immediate need in the Horn of Africa. Organizations who are equipped and on the ground and ready to serve, if they had the final resources. The first thing I figured out was there are very few organizations (that I could find) that are even doing much of anything for this specific situation. But after I found the organizations that were, I decided I really should share them in case anyone else was moved to help out too:
So here is what I came up with:
Mana works to feed young children with severe malnutrition. They give out packets of food (kind of like peanut butter in a ketchup container) and for most children, they see a huge recovery in about 6 weeks time. This stuff basically brings back children who are on the very brink of death by starvation.
Childcare Ministries -
We actually sponsor several children through this organization but you can also buy livestock for children in Africa. What I love about this organization is you can pick the specific country you want to have which animal. They have a lot of options for Ethiopia and a few more for the surrounding countries.
Unicef is one of the large organizations working on the emergency relief. They specifically are helping with nutrition, vaccinating children in the refuge camps so diseases don't break out, and working on sanitation and clean drinking water.
They are doing some really cool things to help out with the crisis. Besides the big organization like Unicef, they were the one that stood out to me that is trying to do the most.
These are just a few organizations and I am SURE there are plenty more helping. If you are aware of any others please share them with me and I will add them to the list!