Monthly Archives: May 2009

Surprising new lesson

I started an internship at a non-profit organization called Barakat, Inc located in Cambridge, MA. It truly has given me a new outlook on the work involved in promoting a mission. I have always believed that if your mission was good enough, people would listen eagerly and join in. But this experience has showed me that it doesn’t matter how inspiring, heartfelt or important your mission is, it is all about the moolah. I’m literally working for hours on end trying to find and finagle the best strategy towards reaping in major donations. And, at first, I detested this. I mean, I wanted to do humanitarian work! I wanted to learn about the people, their issues, their cries! I am not a business person. PUH!

Soon, I found myself intoxicated with the idea of infiltrating the “business field.” This spectrum that I have so desperately ran in fear from, feeling it be some kind of “dark side.” So, I began to write pitches to big and small businesses in and around the area, presenting information about Barakat’s work, offering sponsership options and thanking oh, so, graciously afterwards. And throughout, I had a slight grin on my face. I felt like I had cracked the system. Figured out a way of connecting the world of flowy-skirts-and-flowers-in-your-hair to the prestine, right-angled world of the suit-and-tie. Few businesses seemed interested, most sounded annoyed but either way, I knew I was doing something right. I was using integration as a means of getting what I needed to achieve my goal. I was not dismissing the importance and place businesses have in Barakat’s work.

Moral of the story: We are one world and we all need to fix it together.

human_mandala_7

“We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Open your eyes.

Starvation and poverty exists.
Starvation exists.

  • 25,000 people die every day from hunger and related causes.
    Source: World Food Programme, 2009. http://beta.wfp.org/hunger-stats
  • 963 million people currently do not have enough to eat. This is an increase of 40 million since the beginning of 2008.
    Source: FAO, 2008. http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/8836/icode/

  • 907 million people in developing countries alone are hungry.
    Source: World Food Programme, 2009. http://beta.wfp.org/hunger-stats

  • Every 6 seconds a child dies because he or she is hungry.
    Source: World Food Programme, 2009. http://beta.wfp.org/hunger-stats

  • The world produces enough food to feed everyone. Total food production in calories per person per day has increased by 25 percent since 1961 and is more than sufficient to feed every person on earth 2800 calories per day. The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.
    Source: FAOSTAT Agriculture Data: Food Supply, Crops, Primary Equivalent. February, 2004.
    http://faostat.fao.org/faostat/collections?subset=agriculture
  • There are about 1 billion people in the world living at the margin of survival on less than $1 a day. 2.6 billion people live on less than $2 per day – which is 40% of the world’s population. Over 800 million of these poor suffer from chronic hunger, which means that their daily intake of calories is insufficient for them to lead active and healthy lives.
    Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2007/2008.
    http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr_20072008_en_complete.pdf
  • Hunger is on the rise: The number of hungry people in the developing world reached 17% in 2007, compared to 16% in 2003-2005.
    Source: World Food Programme, 2009. http://beta.wfp.org/hunger-stats
  • In the least developed countries of the world, 141 children out of 1,000 die before their fifth birthday. By comparison, in the United States 8 children in 1,000 will die before turning five years old.
    Source: The World Bank, Data and Statistics, MDGs, 2008.  http://go.worldbank.org/9376HMEI40

  • The number of undernourished people in the world increased by 75 million in 2007, largely due to higher food prices.
    Source: World Food Programme, 2009. http://beta.wfp.org/hunger-stats

Be aware of the poverty and famine around you. It is essential to our growth as a human race. But will it take a picture of a hungry child to get you to care? Will it take a few statistics from a reliable source? What will it take for you to get up out of your chair and ask “why?” Why are there injustice? Why are they rampant throughout the world? Why are children going to bed hungry tonight? Why aren’t I doing everything in my power to stop it?

I am truly asking, because I don’t know anymore.