Thursday, October 20, 2005


Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah Posted by Picasa

Our Time

Friends have asked me to put up suggestions for how they can spend their time in service to African people. I'm lazy, I'm afraid; and loathe to admit, perhaps, that I don't have many good ideas about the matter. I'm hoping to hear some good idea from you.

I was going through Harper's Index for October and a couple of entries jumped out:

Estimated amount of African wealth held in foreign accounts, expressed as a percentage of African GDP:172.
Minutes that NBC and CBS spent covering the Darfur genocide last year:8


Yikes!

Here's a list of some facts at the Village Enterprise Fund Web site "The Cycle of Poverty Kills Through Hunger And Preventable Diseases:"

34,000 children die every day of hunger and preventable diseases.
Bread for the World Institute, Hunger 1997
17 million people die every year from infections and parasitic diseases that we know how to prevent
United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 1995
1.3 billion people live on less than $1 per day.
World Bank study released in 1996
3 billion people live on less than $2 per day.
Bread for the World Institute, Hunger 1997
1.45 billion people have no access to health services.
1.33 billion people have no access to safe (clean) water.
United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 1992


Distribution of resources and time are seriously out of wack. But what can a body do? This morning a friend sent a link to a review of a film/DVD Emmanuel's Gift Here's the link my friend sent. The film is about Emmanuel born in Ghana with a severely deformed leg. All but his mother ready to give up on such a child, and yet..

The difference any one of us can make is bound to be little, but little isn't nothing. All of us have unique interests and talents. And too often we don't share them with each other. A gift of time is sharing. It's possible to share with individuals all over the globe now. The slogan: "Think globally/ Act locally" sounds pretty good; afterall local actions are the ones we really can have some dominion over. It's in our sharing we can begin to redress the insane maldistribution that affect us all wherever we live.

Emmanuel Ofoso Yeboah demostrates how one person can make a difference for many. We can make a difference too.

2 comments:

pingting said...

i went to a grant writing workshop tonight & ran upon an artist friend
who just got a significant grant to work with "communities".
the project largely seems to be about her working with somalian refugees in pittsburgh/america.
she'll be intereviewing them & working on a film project. i want to put you in touch with
her because so that you can connect. i will inform her about your work.
pingting

pingting said...

i left another post below.
hey, how do you find these post responses that people
leave? do you have to scroll down & see each entry?

i think this blog is a good idea john. someone may have suggested that this will take time which is also my thought, but it can grow & people can connect to &
through it & to africa & ultimately back to themselves.

pingting find the time to rhyme