Tag Archives: Africa

$1 Provides Clean Drinking Water for One Year

I’ll cut to the chase: I would like each one of you reading this blog to donate $1 to Blood Water Mission. Better yet, I would like each one of you to ask ten of your closest friends to give you a $1 each and then take your $11 and donate it to Blood Water Mission.

Some of you might remember our campaign at Wheaton College entitled “I Support Meera.” Meera is a native missionary in India and in one day we raised over $1000 to full support Meera’s entire life’s missionary work (enough to get his ministry started and become self-sustaining). We did it by asking every college student on campus for $1 a piece. The power of many small acts can move mountains.

In a similar fashion, the community group I meet with from Mosaic has decide to adopt the goal of raising $1000 for Blood Water Mission, an organization dedicated to providing clean drinking water to individuals and entire villages in Africa. You can visit the website and read the details and what not, but the object is simple, please donate $1.

If you end up being ambitious and doing it on your own, email me and let me know how much you raised and donated.

Otherwise pass me a dollar next time you see me or use the Google Checkout button below (Google doesn’t charge any transaction fees right now, so $1 off your credit card is a dollar straight to Blood Water Mission).

Nothing But Nets

(reposted from Mark Leon Goldberg at UNdispatch)

It’s not often that a story in Sports Illustrated can have a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in sub-Saharan Africa. But with an 815 word column in April, writer Rick Reilly kicked off a grassroots campaign to do just that.

Reilly’s pitch was straightforward. Every thirty seconds, an African child dies from a malaria infection transmitted by a mosquito bite, making it the number-one killer of African children under five. So he implored his readers to send $10 donations to the United Nations Foundation to purchase mosquito nets to help protect families when most of the transmissions occur: at night when families are asleep.

The pitch was simple, and it worked. It really worked.

In a few short months, SI readers, little league teams, high school clubs and community groups began sending donations to the United Nations Foundation. Soon, some $1.2 million – much of it raised in $10 increments – had poured into UNF. As a result, some 120,000 insecticide treated bed nets were purchased.

The success of Reilly’s campaign was, quite literally, overwhelming. So to help organize the incipient movement, and collect and distribute the donations, the United Nations Foundation, in partnership with Sports Illustrated, the NBA, and the People of the United Methodist Church, established a non-profit to handle the donations and keep the momentum going. Nothing But Nets was born.

Here’s how it works: One net is durable enough to last as long as four years. The nets themselves cost about $7. A $10 donation covers the cost of the net, delivery, and installation. In some cases, parents and children may sleep under one net. Importantly, there are no overhead costs for Nothing But Nets – the United Nations Foundation pays for that.

The first nets were recently delivered in Nigeria. Reilly is traveling there to visit families and with staff from the World Health Organization and the Measles Initiative to check out how the nets are used.

In the meantime, you can click here to donate ten bucks.

Continentism: Let’s stop talking about “AFRICA”

This is not meant to be directed at any particular blogger, writer, podcaster, or reader; It’s probably as much something I need to hear as anyone else.

I was listening to a podcast today and the people kept talking about “Africa.” They said things like, I have a heart for Africa, I’ve been really interested in Africa, I looked into going to Africa, and so on. Now, out of full disclosure, when I was in sixth grade and I did a family album and I wrote down the place I most wanted to visit, I wrote down Africa. So, here’s were I have a problem…

Africa is a BIG place. It’s not a people group, or a village, or a town, or state, or country, it’s a gigantic continent! The continent of Africa is nothing like the United States where you have 50 different states under one central government, and most people living there generally speak the same language but with different accents (broad generalization). Africa is 1/5 of the world’s total land area, and 12% of the world’s entire population. There are 61 territories, many different religions and thousands of languages.  Yet, us naive folk in the U.S. of A. keep on acting like Africa and African’s are a niche we’re interested in.

Before I go off in that direction too much more let me say, there are some collective elements of Africa. Being a connected land mass has it’s collective impacts. The AIDS pandemic knows no country borders as it spreads through Sub-sahara Africa. Imperialism and the wicked oppression of the land and the people through out the continent is another shared experience of many in the continent of Africa. There are collective elements, but I think it’s best for our own well being that we stop talking about are interest in such naive general terms.

And here’s where it get’s a little gritty… I think most of the reasons we talk in generalizations about “Africa” are inherently racist. You might have scene a infomercial about starving children, full of young dark skinned children longing for help, and you decide something must be done for those Africans (little did you know all those kids where from the Carribean). My point is that far too many of us and our ignorant generalizations on race see a dark skinned person and place them as being from (recently, or ancestorally) Africa.

In our ignorance African’s are in a terrible dilemma: They all have AIDS (thanks for letting us know Bono), they are starving (infomercials), they just got through a genocide (Hotel Rwanda) and now they’ve got another one going (Save Darfur). We think African’s live fairly unciviled lifestyles (National Geographic), they get their hands chopped off in the diamond trade, they still haven’t dealt with racism (Aparthied), They send their children into war with guns (Invisible Children), they are uneducated and need sponsorship (World Vision), and they are all “African.” Do you see the problem with lumping ever person and issue of an entire continent into one category?

Maybe, I’ll start doing a spotlight on Africa post highlighting a different country each week and what is unique about their people.  Anyone care to inform us of the uniqueness of a country they’ve been to?

I am African: Is it accomplishing it’s goals or just offensive?

I heard about and read some commentary concerning a recent ad campaign I thought I should share with you.

Mixed Media Watch – tracking media representations of mixed people

I was surprised to learn that supermodel Iman is behind those “I Am African” ads fetauring Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and other, mostly white, celebs in faux tribal makeup. As Global Ambassador for Keep A Child Alive, an organization that provides medication to African children with HIV/AIDS, she created the campaign to call attention to the plight of those who cannot afford lifesaving drugs. She states on keepachildalive.org that “each and everyone of us contains DNA that can be traced back to our African ancestors.” So this is why we should care about the issue? What aboout compassion, empathy and commitment to social justice?

Interview with Peter Amico about AIDS

I had the great opportunity to talk with my friend Peter Amico on the other side of the globe in China! I decided to do a short interview with him so that he could share his story with a great audience. Here’s a brief interview with him, which I’m sure I will do more of in the months to come.

NOTE: The quality of the podcast is quite clear considering the long distance connection. However, the recording software caused some overlap of my and Peter’s voices. Though a little distracting, you should know that Peter wasn’t constantly interrupting me before I finished my question, and I was listening and answering quickly (not five seconds late). I hope you can still enjoy the podcast.

Or Download the podcast here.

Please Take a minute and stop by the site:
Peter’s AIDS Fund

Peter wants to remind you to check out Isaiah 1:11-17