Posts Tagged ‘East Africa’

Somalia: Meditation in Mogadishu

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Mogadishu child

A makeshift camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, as become a temporary home to countless displaced persons in Somalia. Photo by Neal Deles/CRS

By Neal Deles

CRS closed its office in Somalia in 1993 but continued to work there through our partners. It has been years since CRS sent an international staff back. I went to Mogadishu to meet our partners and see first-hand the work they do in the makeshift camps for those displaced by famine and conflict.

International aid workers here are mindful of heightened security concerns. We can only visit the camps for one hour and refrain from being out in the afternoon as that is when most of the violence happens. It was a long day visiting one of the many camps in Mogadishu and meeting partners and the people we serve.
(more…)

East Africa Drought: In Somalia, ‘Mending a Crack in the Sky’

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Somalia camp

A camp for internally-displaced persons in Somalia. Photo courtesy of a local CRS partner

CRS is working through local partners in Somalia as it begins to recover from a devastating drought. Here is a post from a member of one of them. For security reasons, we cannot identify the blogger or the partner. The first post is here.

“Why are they shooting?” I screech and dive to the floor. The other men are laughing; this is my first trip to Mogadishu.

“Oh my brother!” the driver shouts over the machine gun clatter, “There is a traffic jam. This way is more effective than a horn.”
(more…)

East Africa Drought: ‘Somalias are Infinite’

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Somalia camp

A camp for internally-displaced persons in Somalia. An estimated 1.5 million Somalis have been displaced within the country due to drought, famine and war. Photo courtesy of a local CRS partner

CRS is working through local partners in Somalia as it begins to recover from a devastating drought. Here is a post from a member of one of them. For security reasons, we cannot identify the blogger or the partner.

Somalias are infinite.

There is the Somalia of Adel, who owns twenty camels with tasseled saddles; he rides across the sand with his cousins and brothers and a cluster of long-horned cattle, rising up and down and up like a fleet of tiny ships.
There is the Somalia of Wa’ail, who slipped away from the village in the cool of early morning and walked two weeks to find a school. Now he can read. “I would write home and tell them,” he says. “But there is no one to answer.”
(more…)

A Hungry Childhood

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Kenya Hunger

Peter Kimeu is a small-scale farmer in Machakos, Kenya, and a technical adviser for Catholic Relief Services, a humanitarian organization. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo / CRS

Hunger is an unforgivable disease because it is the easiest one to cure. It is devastating to wake up in the morning and look east, west, south and north and see that there is nothing green that you can chew. During a drought everything goes yellow and dry. I would walk the roads and search the ground to see if someone had spat out a bit of chewed-up sugar cane. I am not ashamed to say that I would re-chew what I would find. Hunger is dehumanizing. It gets to a level where you do not know how you will survive and you will do anything for a simple kernel of corn.

The thing about drought is that it does not just affect farmers and their crops; it affects everyone. If you think about it, during harvest time farmers hire local farmhands to help with their crops. But when there are no crops to harvest, not only does the farmer lose his or her income, so do the laborers the farmer would have hired. There is a ripple effect that affects the whole community. Few have food and even fewer have money to buy food.

Peter Kimeu’s opinion piece about growing up hungry was published in the September 11 edition of the New York Times.

Bishops Plea for Help for Somali, East Africa Drought, Famine

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, chairman of the Board of Catholic Relief Services, have asked their brother bishops to encourage pastors and parishioners to support emergency relief efforts in the Horn of Africa, possibly by taking up a second collection.

Donate Now

More than 12 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia because of what many are calling the worst drought in decades. This severe lack of rainfall has resulted in failed crops, deaths of livestock and critical shortages in food and water.

“Every day we are seeing more and more heartbreaking news about the drought and famine in Somalia and the eastern parts of Africa. We see millions of people being forced from their homes, leaving behind what meager possessions they had, and walking for days over rough terrain,” wrote Archbishop Dolan and Bishop Kicanas.
(more…)