Tiananmen Square, Rwanda, Somalia, Tsunami in 2005, Earthquake in Haiti. Just a list of world tragedies that quickly come to mind in the past 30 years. Sadly, there are many, many others that could easily be added to the list. The thought here though, is about an article I just read: Nigeria religious riot bodies found in village wells.

Events like these are simply marked with an article or soundbyte on a news agency website. While I’m sure we’ve all heard of the conflict in Nigeria at some level previously, I doubt if any of us know a great deal about the reasons, history, and current outlook. With no major call for relief efforts, no immediate celebrity cry for action, no easily recognizable connection to our “every-day” North American lives it exists in the background static, like so many other conflicts and hardships.

Do we have a role to play here, or in many other places? I’m sure I’m not alone in these thoughts, they just happened to get spilled here today. Once again, questions and few answers.


2 thoughts on “Nigeria

  1. I agree that as North American’s we are ignorant, in the true sense of the word, about a lot of the travesties that exsist in the world. But I am highly skeptical of the role’s we play in the world too. In Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo raises the issue that the West’s actions to aid countries and their issues has moved away from the altruistic notions that used to propel them into various regions. For example, AIDS has hit record high levels, but the benefits have stopped being televised; AIDS is no longer a sexy charity once it was realized that it may not be cured in on generation.

    There is also the idea that efforts to assist and offer aid are stretched too thin. It has fallen into a matter of giving people fish and not teaching them the skills of fishing. Moyo also argues that this has created pockets of dependance throughout Africa.

    We should have a role, but not in a charitable capacity that is looking around for the spotlight so that we can congratulate ourselves for helping out. Looking for ways to assist while giving the local population their own part to play in creating a stable environment is the only way to achieve the desired outcome. The problem with this, is that it is not as sexy as the attention received for being charitable.

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