After reading some of my recent posts, a friend asked me why I am so passionate about helping in Africa. What about America, she asked? After all, there are plenty of needy people right here in the USA. She asked if it was because I thought people in the U.S. have it easier.
This is a question worth addressing. I do think that the people here in the US have it easier, in general. The vast majority of Americans have access to clean water and free public schooling-- even poor Americans. There are also massive public assistance programs available in the US that just aren't in place in 3rd world countries. People who live in America truly are blessed.
In America people eat themselves to death. In Africa people starve to death.
Every. single. day.
In Africa paraplegics scoot around in the dirt on their hands, unable to afford wheelchairs.
That's wrong. (Ever seen that in the US? Didn't think so...)
People in Africa have to live with -- and die from-- all sorts of treatable illnesses. Malaria. TB. Leprosy.
That's wrong. (Incidentally, did you know that leprosy can be stopped by a round of antibiotics??)
Millions of African women spend hours a day walking just to get water for that day's needs. Think how much more productive they could be if all they had to do is walk 20 feet to a spigot.
And every day children in Ethiopia become orphans because their parents couldn't afford a buck or two a day for antiretrovirals. Meanwhile in the US most HIV+ people are living decades, because they can get the lifesaving drugs they need.
I personally think that people who are moved by the poverty in the US should do something about it. God tugs different people's hearts in different directions, and that is awesome. There is need everywhere, and I have nothing but respect for people who move to assist anyone in need. But my heart is with Africa.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Because this is such a common question we're asked, I thought some of you might be interested in this post from the Ethiopia Adoption Blog:
at 7:05 AM