09 Jul In the Service of Humanity by Anderson Ezie
In the Service of Humanity
“Why do you feel so powerless? Go spend an hour with ants. Each of those black specks you see is a life. One whole life that you can save, take, or affect in some way. You have the power to make so many lives better. It is within you. Don’t lose sight of that.”
― Kamand Kojouri.
In times of war and hardship the vulnerable suffer disproportionately. People have often asked the question about fairness without an answer. Why is the condition of the poor getting worse by the day, and why are they often the victims of all the evils that befall humanity? What about the vulnerable, women, girls, children, and disabled? A good answer to this question is that it will take less time to do something about these terrible situations, than it would take to find an answer. So when we hear that women are the victims of gender based violence, likely to be unemployed than their male counterparts, and suffer multiple health complications in times of crisis, we ought to ask what can be done. Even though we shall find answers to the questions from asking why, such answers are only important to inform and improve our response. We are in some of the most difficult times in human history, where inequalities, violence, disasters, differences, and now, outbreaks are taking a toll on our lives. Only a resolve to make things better can reveal the light at the end of the tunnel and everyone needs to act positively.
Hunger Reduction International is improving the living conditions of people in local communities through various programs carefully designed by the organization. Our focus is on gender equality and food security, and some of the worse images of these challenges exist where we work in East Africa. Our actions are inspired by a deep feeling of humanity and quest for a world in which the destiny of all people and their quality of life will not be limited by things they cannot control. Everyone has the right to a decent life, nutritious meals, economic and social opportunities but many lay helpless in the face of severe hunger and absolute poverty. Battling unpredictable weather and drought, people in Somalia are sometimes left in helpless situations. After escaping floods some families watch their children die from cholera. One way to talk about this properly is that if it is not hunger, or flood, it is disease, and COVID-19 made things worse for so many. In these lamentable conditions, our staff at Hunger Reduction International are always out looking for ways to mitigate suffering and empower the vulnerable to take charge of their lives. On a good note, we took out time to find out how we have impacted the lives of the people in these communities and we hope that, like us, either encouraging response will inspire you to support our efforts to make some of the biggest impact on humanity.
On the suburbs of Hudisia village, a 57-years-old widow, Astur [name changed] lives with 7 children in a small house roofed with corroded iron corrugated sheets. When schools were opened Astur sold cookies and samusa for a living at the gate of one of the schools, feeding her family of 8 on her then thriving business. Astur’s face brightened up in a smile when the Hunger Reduction International team met her sitting on a mattress in her patio.
She is a beneficiary of the loan given by the village savings loan association, VSLA founded by Hunger Reduction International. VSLA is a microfinance scheme that empowers women by encouraging them to contribute weekly to a fund that is given out to anyone who comes up with a feasible business idea. The recipient is expected to pay back within a time frame to keep the fund running. Astur presented her small food business idea for which she got funding from VSLA.
According to her, restrictive COVID-19 measures led to closure of schools disrupting her only means of livelihood. Astur feeds, pays her childrens fees, medical expenses and settles her loan from the money she makes from her business. With all her children at home with her as a result of the pandemic, Astur worries about feeding her family while staying safe during COVID-19 as she can’t do her business anymore.
Fortunately for Astur, Hunger Reduction International has received donations from the government which it will distribute to her and other families affected by the pandemic.
Her story is one of many among the lives positively affected by Hunger Reduction International over the years. We do not fail to acknowledge our kind donors and supporting institutions. You can put a smile on the face of someone today and help Hunger Reduction International continue its good work of improving the lives of people suffering from no fault of theirs. Click on the donate button for support or reach out to use if you have anything to share. It wouldn’t cost much to make a big impact on the lives of others when everyone is part of it. Every support we receive is used for the purpose for which it is meant. Making the world a better place for everyone is a collective goal that can be achieved by the most minute efforts. Hunger Reduction International is poised on improving lives. A few things, if any, matters as much.
Dr. Faisal Abdi led the Hunger Reduction International Team during the field interview carried out to collect information for this article.