Part of the mission of Aid for Starving Children has always been to go to those areas of the world where children and families are suffering under the most horrific conditions, providing them with the aid they need most.
Somalia is a land sadly plagued by truly "horrific conditions." There is the constant war being waged by groups faction that indiscriminately murder men, women, and children, scattering and splintering families running for their lives. These terrified people end up in small groupings of people seeking to somehow survive. Then there is the constant drought that leaves them unable to find drinking water or to grow even the most meager of crops. Add to this the very real threat of kidnapping or murdering anyone who appears as if they are from the West, and you can understand why so many charities and NGOs are choosing to not enter this region of the world.
Given our mission, however, and because of your generous support, we have decided that these children and families must not be left destitute and starving.
It is reported that over One million Somalis, more than half of whom are children, are suffering from what the UN calls an Acute Food Security Crisis.
One out of ten children here will die before their first birthday.
Almost two out of ten Somali children will die before their fifth birthday, due to water and sanitation related illnesses.
On top of all of this, there is the horror of thousands of children being kidnapped and brainwashed to fight as soldiers.
ASC recently sent our team to not only bring aid to some of these suffering families, but to also seek out and assess needs for future aid in various regions of Somalia where families have settled. Just as we feared they encountered desperate mothers with diseased and severely malnourished children.
"It’s always difficult to witness the agony and terror I saw in the eye’' of mothers and children… Here, the mothers do their best to dress smartly as they can for a distribution, as they believe it will give them a better chance."
What parent wouldn’t do anything they could - small or great - to help save their children from disease and death? These people, suffering under these conditions, are why we are here.
Over the last 12 months, ASC helped send in 15 tons of food aid for 300 displaced families. And we will continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
I don’t understand why the media is not reporting the sufferings of these men, women, and children. But we cannot wait for the spotlight of the media. This is not some horror movie that can be placed on pause, while the viewers get their act together. This is real life playing out in real time. Gratefully, because of your care and generosity, we are bringing meals and hope to these people and will continue doing so.
Monte Wilson, President ASC