August 2, 2011

Aid for Somali Women

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I'm sure most of you are at least somewhat familiar with the situation in the horn of Africa right now.  The famine.  The refugees.  You might even have seen the photo of the seven month old baby getting treated for malnutrition- seven months old and seven pounds.

What you might not know is how disproportionately effected women and children are.  For reasons that I cannot begin to really comprehend, Somali women have been taking their children, and fleeing.  Usually leaving their husbands and fathers behind.

And as is so often the case, they are victimized horribly.

Many, many women tell the same stories.  Of robbers who took everything they had- even the clothing off their bodies, as they begged and pleaded to keep something to protect themselves and their children from the blazing sun.

Then, of course, there are the tales of rape.  Women who walk for weeks on end with all of their children, only to be horribly abused just when they near their only hope of salvation.

But the worst, the absolute worst, is the stories of leaving their children behind.  Many women tell tales of leaving their own children behind to die, carrying the remaining children onward.  On foot.

I can't begin to wrap my head around that kind of choice.  These are women with four, six, more children, and when the children are too weak to walk (and some families walk for a month before reaching the refugee camp), they have to make a choice.

I cannot imagine anything closer to Hell.

Part of me wants to drop everything and fly to Somalia, to do anything to help.  But realistically, I can't do that.  I'm needed here, and driving a jeep around the Somali wilderness, looking for stranded women and children to collect... well, I'd be lucky to survive and come home.

But what I can do, and what you can do, is to donate to an organization that CAN help.

Doctors Without Borders
World Concern

Thank you.

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