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I'm on my way home today and I'm listening to public radio as I often do and I hear something that's both heartwarming and troubling. Right now, Southern Africa is facing drought and famine, which means starvation for sure. Malawi caught my attention though.
More than 4 million people will be able to meet their basic nutritional requirements. HIV/AIDS is runs rampant, with almost 900,000 people of the just over 12 million infected. This isn't counting all the other diseases in extremely poor countries like hepatitis A, typhoid, malaria, plague and even schistosomiasis. They've been facing problems most of the summer because they failed to get the rain required for growing corn and they're facing real problems in the coming months because already, one third of their population does get enough to eat. They have a 10.3% infant mortality rate and the average lifespan is 37. It's not old. I'll be 37 in a couple of years myself.
The nation was originally a British Protectorate during the colonial period of Africa and they are wedged between Mozambique and Zambia and Tanzania. They have a multiparty democracy and nearly 80% of the population is Christian. This country is about as poor as poor can get, facing starvation, disease running rampant, and they have no oil, they have some coal and uranium but no research has been done on them. They have very little but they had enough to send to the United States relief effort for New Orleans.
It brings to mind a story from the Bible about the poor woman who gave more than all the rich people when donating to the temple because she gave all she had. She gave when she had nothing to give. They new about their problem as far back as May.
Do you know why the people of Malawi give? "You know the difference between our brothers, black Americans? Malawians are used to hunger. Malwains are used to challenges in life. Those people are not."
The quote comes from the radio program "The World." They were interviewing a woman who helps run the food relief efforts for the UN in Malawi and African nations. They're saying Malawi could become the next Niger.
It's sad the we Americans are so insulated. I'm guilty of it myself. We play video games, go see football games, we live in a world of entertainment. Political campaigns cost millions of dollars, heck nearly a billion in the last presidential race yet we as "Christian" nation don't go help our neighbors in these poor countries. Some say, help themselves, they let themselves get this way. I submit they did not. They were abused and left for dead by western colonialism and while our nations sit fat and well fed with lots of leisure time, we sit and let the masses die of starvation. No child should go to sleep thirsty or hungry... anywhere. Not in America...not in Malawi or any other nation.
posted by Stithmeister @ 7:47 PM
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Well, just to be the minion of Satan that i am (albeit it's mostly ceremonial) -
Isn't this also a chance for these people, with a double lifetime of American condescention, and of begging and jumping through World Bank (=USA) hoops to get help, a chance to give America as big of a F**K YOU VERY MUCH (to quote V.P. Cheney) as they can manage? Something along the lines of a little old grandmother offering assistance getting up to the linebacker who just boofed the big play?
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I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.
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