The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
Instagram

Keep Africa alive

Africa needs more than Oprah, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s attention. Africa needs more than prayers. Africa needs people in the world to step away from their comfortable lives and acknowledge the crisis. Africa needs a multitude of compassionate helping hands. Africa needs saving.

Earlier this summer, Africa’s fortunes deteriorated once again with the spread of cholera throughout the western part of the country. Because of contact with infected water, 31,259 people in nine countries have been diagnosed and 488 have died. The United Nations desperately needs money for supplies and medical staff to treat victims. Governments worldwide are doing what they can, but where is everyone else?

This sounds all too familiar. In 1994, about 800,000 Rwandans were brutally killed during the genocide between the Tutsis and Hutus. The stranded victims saw no ray of light or help other than from the United Nations, which withdrew after some of its soldiers were murdered. Where was everyone else? For three months, mothers and fathers from around the globe were hugging their children tightly and thanking God each day that it wasn’t their own family.

AIDS isn’t a new epidemic, either. There are 25.4 million people in sub-Saharan Africa with HIV, and 3.1 million more were diagnosed just last year. These AIDS-stricken orphans have no hope left. Their fathers and mothers are dying from AIDS by the age of 47, and children are left destitute, the same way they came into the world. Where is everyone? There’s no humanity in hiding.

Mother Teresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” And that’s just it. We as human beings forget that we are citizens of the world first-country second. We cushion those who can aid our cause and existence, yet we brush those in desperation under the rug for later consideration. What happens to us and our country if we find ourselves in Africa’s poorly-constructed shoes one day? Will we merit the opportunity for a chance at survival?

A month ago, the World Health Organization declared a tuberculosis outbreak for Africa. South Africa loses more than 500,000 people from TB each year. AIDS wears down the immune system making people more susceptible to TB, cholera and other illnesses. For Africans, there seems to be no justice in this insatiable world. They need a break. They need an indication that people care.

People throw around the well-known phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but what happens when the entire village has perished from AIDS? Who will rear the children then?

People must resist the urge to look away and dismiss Africa’s crisis as another news story. Education is the key to Africa’s survival. It starts here. Everyone needs to recognize the gravity of the situation and act. Act by writing checks to the United Nations, Oprah’s Angel Network or other organizations fighting for humanity’s survival. Act by volunteering for AIDS organizations and educating people. Act by doing humanitarian work in Africa with organizations like Cross-Cultural Solutions. Don’t just sit at home in a cushioned Barcalounger making excuses. Act.

Stacey Seebode is a senior journalism major. She may be contacted at [email protected].

More to Discover