Fighting Famine in East Africa
How social media is helping the situation
- Duration 9:14
- Date Sep 28, 2011
How social media is helping the situation
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The Horn of Africa is it's very easy.
First round now that it.
At least sixty years we are -- -- livestock and by the thousands what you're seeing children.
Are severely mountain nurse we're dying we -- seeing people.
Are fleeing from their homes trying to find.
That was minimize -- world vision she's here with us on the set here in New York.
Thanks very much how long -- over there.
I was there for two months I left out late July and then just got back -- last week to what did you see.
I -- the unique privilege to really travel throughout a lot of of -- of Africa so I was in Somalia.
For several weeks at a time mostly in northern Somalia and along the border Ethiopia.
Which is an area called -- In Somalia it's a dire situation.
Not a lot of aid groups are able to function right now in Somalia.
And I think a lot of the the news right now is focusing on south central Somalia where it has been officially salmon declared.
The problem though is.
The -- seems to be spreading.
We're seeing a lot of people who have been fleeing from south central into other theories of Somalia.
They haven't really gotten quite the attention as say -- did dogs which is the world's largest refugee camp.
Then I traveled through out other parts of the -- which certainly Kenya.
Areas of Ethiopia.
On -- being affected you -- is being affected.
And what I saw where again what's now consider this the worst drought in sixty years we're seeing those signs in the ground a lot of desperation and people who need help.
How many people twelve million.
Well when I arrived this is the problem is when I arrived at about eleven million now it's up to about thirteen million people who are affected throughout the Horn of Africa.
One in three Somalia -- hang out said to have been displaced.
And so you're dealing with 2.5 million small -- who are now -- I'll let you have left their home they have very few resources.
Many of them have left with just the resources they had.
The clothes on her back.
But the situation since I was there in the last two months as surprisingly gotten worse and actually we are fearing that it could get even worse.
If the rains come in the next few weeks we're fearing -- that disease could be in a major issue with cholera and measles and various outbreaks throughout went back.
Especially people -- already malnourished.
So in Kenya -- GOP is Somalia Djibouti.
These are some of the principal places that are affected what are their respective governments to.
I mean they're all responding.
And in different ways but there are a lot of complicated issues that are are there.
I aid groups are trying to respond where we can in various pockets but what you're finding our groups of people who.
In depth on various parts of the border without a lot of resources -- and so for example I traveled to -- Somalia which is on the Somali side.
What you see the majority.
Refugees on the Ethiopian side and the response is very different compared to one side vs the other.
About how many resource as we can actually provide.
On the Somalia side in major need right now is actually medical -- world vision and we are responding trying to set up.
Various medical clinics -- side as well as in northern Somalia.
But -- the needs are are varied as well you're seeing people who have very little sheltered.
So we set up tents in the -- refugee camp nearly 5000 shelters and tents.
It -- also handing out what are called in F -- nonfood items basically kits emergency kits that have various resources like mosquito nets to prevent malaria.
We're also passing out cookies -- so hygiene items trying to prevent diseases so a lot of different things that are needed.
And of course more funds are needed right now.
And Alitalia I mean after visiting the Horn of Africa I was just I was shocked by the just the sheer number of people who are being effective right now you know.
I mean I can tell you -- soon.
Your expressions and telling his story -- he's.
It is -- for -- -- won't believe we really focused mostly on the children and I can't tell -- the unique privilege I had to be able to meet face to face with children.
And I'll tell yes I got to do an interesting job for our organization and that was trying to use social networking and new media.
To be able to tell a different side of the story than hate groups have ever been able to do before.
But what I found this is -- more real more raw more realistic.
I was able to take a little flip cameras not and take FaceBook and Twitter.
And actually get on the front lines and within seconds to talk to a young child who surprisingly some of them speak English.
They're you know coming over the border with Somalia speaking fluent English.
I talked to an incredible we'll wait thirteen year old had to -- -- And you know most of -- I didn't know who spoke English I just said hi hi hi to as many kisses I couldn't -- somebody responded back to make for -- this little boy came up instead.
Welcome and -- -- what is your entertainment and tell me your story He had just arrived from Somalia two weeks before.
-- spoke really well with English I took out my little flip camera had it -- stuff you know within thirty seconds and since coming your story.
And most of the things that were able to do now as an organization is here right in there and say tell us what do you really -- And by that night I had that flip camera video uploaded on to FaceBook and it's now being distributed.
All across the you know response has been a sponsor has -- well.
You know that child was able to communicate what He wants what He -- He was able say you know what I haven't kept it right here and adopt I have enough water my heart is -- wanna put a school.
I -- to be able to continue my education.
And my fear is that I will never be able to go back to Somalia and my family has no plans to go back.
But what can we do here into the job to be able to you know have an education and what was fun about this child was that He not only -- advocated for himself.
But He advocated for the first the children and they can't get free I want all of my friends to be able to go to school and be able to speak English like I can't that's great.
Can't just about world vision it's a non -- I assume.
Yeah it is a nonprofit and we are Christian relief organization that is and nearly a hundred countries all across the world so -- respond.
-- -- -- -- -- -- One -- obviously the immediate needs of those who are refugees and drought affected throughout the -- of Africa.
But the other thing is we're trying to make sure that we have long term strategies in place so we're not -- newcomers into Kenya personally we've actually been there for decades.
But we are trying to incorporate.
Long term strategy so that Stanley is.
Are not affected like this in the future.
For example we know that these drought situations are very cyclical these happen every few years they're becoming more frequent basis to be over seven years now -- about every two to three.
But we're trying to prevent.
Fit the dramatic impact so for example I travel to areas of Kenya.
That have now been able to do irrigation and farming.
And world vision has come alongside and providing some of the ceilings and some of the education and the resources and say okay.
Let's teach you how to plant how to farm.
And and that women the -- come and you have irrigation systems in place you're not going to be as affected and those people like that to me you know we're like this isn't that that.
You know if they're in different parts subpoena saying it's not as bad as everybody says to talk choosy about what people can do if they're motivated to -- Well the biggest thing is is the financial resources because like I was saying that they need to have there -- so great and so varied some people need -- some people need cooking utensils some people need medical supplies.
I'm mad at and I love to talk about the children because that's where it is the most real most raw and at a twelve year old girl who came up to me and I'll say yes this is -- my favorite stories.
Because she had tears literally coming down her face but -- this month.
And I was like you know what's -- deal turns out she had an extremely.
For problematic eye infection.
And yet she was a happy joyful child and coming up to me and waving and smiling and saying you know hello hello and trying to be you know very graciously welcoming.
But she needs medical attention like so many children I got to me.
And so the best thing to do is really to provide those financial resources so that we can't ask the experts really meet the needs that we need to.
And it's up on the -- you can donate to Horn of Africa food crisis fund provides support for children affected by a hunger worldwide.
You sponsor a child in East Africa you can do that all through world.
Vision your website is.
-- world vision dot org enlarging and it's very easy to donate if you just plug on the web -- you can learn a little bit more about what we do.
Not only on the short term like -- sit on the long term fine in other areas of the world as well around the world vision dot org -- great place to start.
You need Warren Buffett -- gates to give you truckload of money in.
Very high bills.
We -- lot of resources a lot of help the Sony they'll Buffett seems to think that He needs to pay more in taxes and be nice if He actually gave the money if you I'll take whatever they can give us.
-- that you heard it here.