Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hey America, Thanks for Caring About Africa's Lions! Want to Make Some Other Issues Go Viral?

America, you've flexed your muscles on social media this week and proven what a difference millions of people can make when they care about something.  Want to consider some of these other issues in Africa?

1.  Tanzania's Elephants.  So you are passionate about animals?  Great!  How about getting passionate about Tanzania's elephants?  Tanzania has seen a 60% decrease in its elephants in the last five years due to poaching.  That's 85,000 elephants killed and left to rot in only five years, fueled by China's demand for ivory.

2.  South Africa's Rhinos.  Not too keen on elephants?  How about rhinos?  One rhino is killed every 8 hours for its horn.  Extinction is near.

3.  Zimbabwe.  Maybe, since it is home to famous lions, it's actually Zimbabwe you care about?  Well, that country certainly could use it's own media blitz.  After all, 70% of the population lives on $1.25 a day, yet the president recently ordered the imprisonment of all street vendors.  Meanwhile, his wife held a lavish birthday party.

4.  Burundi.  How about tiny Burundi?  It's a neighbor to Tanzania but so small you might never have heard about it.  The president decided that two-term limits are so passe, and chose to run for a third term.   Political instability erupted.  Over 100,000 refugees fled in the last few months, most of them ending up in Tanzania.

5.  Malaria.  Malaria kills 600,000 people a year in Africa, most of them children.  That's about 1,200 people per day.  Vaccine research has been sparse because, well.....no one contracts malaria in developed countries. So far, vaccine trials have had mixed results.  Anyone want to dump a bucket of water over their head for malaria?

6.  Water.  Speaking of water (the clean kind), most people in sub-Saharan Africa still don't have access to it.  1.5 million children in Africa die from diarrhea each year.

7.  Boko Haram.  Boko Haram Slits the Throats of Sixteen Christian Fisherman.  That happened yesterday.  Remember #Bringbackourgirls?  They never brought them back.  In fact, they've killed, kidnapped, and raped so many more people since then that it's not even news anymore.

8.  Al-Shabaab.  Remember the 147 university students killed in April?  Remember the attack on the mall in Nairobi?  That was their work.  They're still at it.

And that's not even getting into the rampant corruption that's destroying governments, China's raping of natural resources in Africa, female circumcision, orphans, HIV, lack of schools, or the Prosperity Gospel.

Sometimes, it's just easier to worry about a lion.

(Yes, Gil took this picture.  We love lions.)
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