Posts Tagged ‘volunteer journal’

HARDA = Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency.

FAMINE IN HORN OF AFRICA

What is HARDA doing??

HARDA is working with our on the ground partners whom, as you can see from the photo on the left, are distributing food aid right now. Dr Mohamud Sheikh, an executive member of HARDA, has been using his holiday to help with our initial aid effort in Northern Kenya, thanks to a very generous donation from Muslim Aid Australia. He reports “we fed up to 5,927, buying only essential food stuff to increase the number of people that we can reach. We provided Corn meal (maize flour), Oil and Beans – the common diet of the people. The community elders were so pleased that we dd not leave without feedng anyone who turned up for food”.

Help urgently needed

The United Nations declared a famine in parts of Somalia. Famine is declared when a number of preconditions are met. These include when hunger rates among children rise above thirty precent and many people are unable to get food and other basic needs. The UN believes that it is likely that tens of thousands have already died, the majority of these being children.

And the famine is spreading with the Horn of Africa experiencing its worst drought in sixty years. UN officials have said more than eleven million people are in need of food aid.

What can you do??

Please HELP those in such desperate need. Each life is precious and each donation helps preserve a life!
100% of what you donate is going directly to those in need, providing much needed food to those heading to the camps and to those outside the camps who are dying so close to help.
The pictures and stories coming out of these regions would break your heart; and we have so much in comparison to their need!


Donate to HARDA’s HORN OF AFRICA FAMINE AID APPEAL | www.harda.info

Twitter: @AussieActivist

So today is my second last day at the HARDA office for this years African Men’s English Program. Tomorrow we will be having our graduation for 2010 and my students are excited yet aprehensive.

“What will we do for the next 8 weeks?” is a common question that is arising. With both our classes and TAFE classes finished for the year the men seem to be at a loss at what they will do with their time. Alot of them are asking about employment over the holidays, what can they do to gain some casual employment.

I feel troubled by the prospects of them going back to the parks they were sitting in before we were able to gain their attendance.  With all the weeks of nothing ahead (f0r our single students) they are at a loss. It pains me that i can not do more. I feel like i’m sometimes caught between a rock and a hard place. But yet again, i am only one person. I do what i can to make the lifes of those around me better and i guess that is all i can do.

I am looking forward to our graduation ceremony tomorrow morning and i know my students are as well. They have invited their families and i am hoping to see a great turnout in support of them. I have started to receive the tutor reports and am amazed at how well some of them have come in the last 12 months due to our program.  It makes me feel like we are doing something worthwhile and giving back to those who need our help.

I have made some wonderful friends with the Sudanese males that i have been involved with and the stories they can tell, wow they will blow you away.

Just this morning one of my students was telling me that he finally got to speak to his sister last month after 24 yrs of absence. She had no idea he was living in Australia and had not seen him since he was a small boy. I think of my own family and not seeing my sister for 24 yrs and how hard that would be on my family so i can only imagine how hard it has been for him. Living here in Australia with NO family. A Lost Boy, still searching for the life he wants. It pains me to hear his stories, so we made a pact, we will go to Sudan together one day and meet with his family. I myself am not rich, i struggle on financially with my own family and life but somehow, someday, god will help us take this journey together, so i can retrace his steps, meet his family and learn more about how my fellow friends from southern sudan have been forced to live for far too long in unresolved war like conditions. Ipray for nothing more than peace for southern sudan and for my friends to be able to return home to a democractic society that they so enjoy here in Australia.

I have also been trying to get on here and blog about my experience at the Horn of African Youth Conference a fortnight ago but am having issues with my internet cable (kids have tripped over it one too many times and its not working) and then my camera decided it did not want me to print the pics on the SD card when i took it to officeworks. So once i have fixed the “Technical” issues facing me ill have the blog up and the pics of the weekend up as well. (I am blogging from the HARDA office this morn).

Also Please Please Please if you want to do something  for someone this Christmas purchase one of our Shirts or Products from ALL FOR CHARITY STORE and 100% of the profits made are used to support a Child Headed Household in Uganda of 5 Children. Betty the eldest girl is a budding scientist and we would love nothing more than to see her acheive her goals. For more information on Betty and her family, please VISIT HERE

-Freeuganda

So its been a while since i have put a journal entry in as i have been quite busy recently.

A few family issues arose that i needed to take care of as well as continuing to run my Sudanese Mens English Courses through HARDA and also spending time with my children, who are ages 9, 4 & 3 so as you can imagine, they are quiet time consuming! lol My children are awesome kids and i hope they grow up with a moral respect for others and continue the fight for injustice.

In recent weeks i found out that one of the Invisible Children USA Team was taken away by an act of Terrorism. Nate from IC USA was in Kampala with 3 of our Northern Ugandan Students when a suicide bomber let of his bomb. Unfortunately, Nate did not survive the blast and our 3 students managed to escape with their lives, just to add more terror and scars to their already scarred lives. Such a sad thing to happen to those so innocently watching a soccer match. It just makes no sense. I send my condolences to all of those affected by the World Cup Bombings in Kampala, our prayers and thoughts are with you and your families.

It seems the world is falling apart right before my eyes, i feel helpless that i cannot do more to help others who are suffering, but as i know, i am only one person and i can only do so much, so i will continue to do as much as i can for others.

I must end this journal for now as i have some hungry little children asking me for morning tea so i must end this post early.

I thank all of you who read my posts and support my efforts to help those less fortunate. Thank you for coming on my journey with me.

Freeuganda

So i have lots on my plate this year, which is quite exciting for me now as i’m no longer working.

This year i’m dedicating my time to ensuring my health gets better as this “hypothyroidism” really sucks crab big time and i’m so over being exhausted and sick. I’m also dedicating my time to some new volunteer work at the Horn of Africa Relief and Development centre, hopefully helping newly arrived Sudanese to learn basic English to help them gain employment.

I’ve got some great things booked already for Invisible Children Aus, like the Orientation Day stall at Notre Dame University in February of this year and am hoping to have a stall at the Blacktown Festival in June of this year also.

Since seeing the Invisible Children Documentary i have felt blessed to be able to help in a way that i have but sometimes it feels like its not enough, like if i died would all i have done gone noticed? i don’t feel so, i know do alot for others but in a way i feel constricted to the computer, like i have not done enuff “hands on” work, so my goal is to get to Northern Uganda in April of 2011 and do some “hands on” work with 3 great organizations, Invisible Children, Joy for Children Uganda and Compassion Australia.

Whilst in Northern Uganda i wish to briefly study the effects of war and poverty within the community as well as document stories of those affected by the war and poverty as well as the AIDS/HIV virus. I will then be visiting my sponsored children in Western Uganda before heading home to apply to University. I’m not quite sure exactly which course i want to take as yet as i’m still conflicted between Journalism and Peace & Development as i’m not totally sure which one of those would help me achieve what it is i want to achieve in my life.

I love being able to inspire people and report injustices, unheard stories and helping others understand the plight of those in war & poverty.

Where i live, we have a large Sudanese Community who are settling here and i feel that we need to understand more what these people have lived through and how better we can serve them to help them become fantastic community members as well. The racism i see going on is wrong.  I myself have been a victim of racism by a newly arrived Youth quite recently actually and found myself quite shocked by this youth’s behavior and clear lack of respect for anyone but himself.  It really upset me that i was just driving down the street and suddenly this youth stepped out on the road in front of my car and expected me to be able to stop for him! when i called out the window and proceed to explain he had stepped out on the road and it was not a footpath,  i was told in quite a forceful manner to “f**k off!” well i lost it right then and there and told him in my best Aussie Accent “no mate, you f**k off, this is a road not a footpath!! your lucky i was able to stop!” I held no racism nor hate or malice against this youth but it really pissed me off that he EXPECTED me to stop my car immediately and let him walk across the road! Then it kinda made me wonder what this youth has been through both before coming here and then after coming here and what could have happened to him to make him be so rude and forceful, was he a victim of racism by our local community?  I felt ashamed and really not proud of myself for my outburst but i had just had enough.

Over the last few weeks i have come to see that there is SOOO much racism in Australia its not funny and yet we are built on a foundation of multiculturalism, how did we get like this? The Aussie way is giving a hand to the battlers, giving people a fair go, yet all i hear are people complaining about our govt letting in refugee’s and immigrants. Do these people not deserve a fair go? Refugee’s are the most resilient and strong people on our earth, they have faced such hard times and suffered things, we in our beautiful country have not had to experience, yet you all complain?

Unless your an aboriginal, REMEMBER your family immigrated here sometime either recently or in history!! Our penal colony country has evolved into a haven of racism and hate and it really saddens me to see i, but can we expect any less from a country that was founded with criminals?

My parents immigrated here when they were children with their families, had they not, i’d probably be Dutch and living in the Netherlands. What country would you have been born in if your parents were not blessed to call Australia home? think about it!

so as not to end on a downer, i really wanna congratulate Invisible Children on winning the Chase Community Giveaway through Facebook! $1 Million Dollars!! $100,000 of that has been pledged to Haiti Relief and the rest will be used to build schools and water wells as well as maintain the cotton farm in Northern Uganda so that very soon the Tshirts you buy will be MADE on Invisible Children Cotton from Northern Uganda, how cool is that!!! Invisible Children keep on fighting for the end of a war that has been raging for around 24 yrs now. Will you join in the fight? the fight to end the Longest Running War in Africa?

– Rebecca Fowler

Freeuganda

After getting my kids off to bed tonight i sat down and finally go to watch the last few parts of Uganda Rising. I honestly find it really annoying that the ICC cannot prosecute further back that 2004. To read and watch into the history of the LRA war it is exhausting. Its a very politically motivated war that has turned into a war of nothing, just a war of killing.

To see what the Acholi have faced and continue to face is a very disheartening experience. To me i just cannot understand why people are so intolerant of Africa, why people keep on saying “well there has always been civil wars in Africa” but yet have they taken the time to research why there have always been wars in Africa? i highly doubt it.

Education is the key to life, just as the Northern ugandan children beleive that it may be the key to theirs. They are the next generation of leaders for Northern Uganda, they are mothers, daughters, sons and fathers, what would you do if this was your family, your community suffering? would you sit by and watch and do nothing?

This is my first journal post as ive posted a full historical lead up to this first post going through how i started and why i continue to, on a daily basis, campaign for the rights of those in Northern uganda, why i continue to educate people and update people with what is going on in the world. If the media won’t report it, then someone must, i if that is me, then so be it.

i am a voice for the voiceless, i am one of many, many hundreds of thousands of activist around the world, just like me, working for the ultimate goal, Peace for the Children. be it of Uganda or Sudan or Afghanistan or Iran, Children all over the world are suffering, are you compassionate enough to be a voice for the voiceless?

I received an email tonight from a great activist friend, and his kind words lifted my spirits up high, after watching such a depressing and sad documentary i was uplifted again, to know that my words do make a difference. I have never met this friend, but to know that i have made a difference even to just one person, i know i am doing what i am meant to be doing, my life has lead me on this journey, ending up somewhere i never ever expected to be, but here i am, an activist, a voice for the voiceless, and I WILL see change in MY lifetime. I may be one person, but i can move the world…..i dare you to move it too!

Rebecca-Anne
Twitter: @FreeUganda for what is going on in Uganda and the LRA war terrorizing Africa.
Main Header Picture by: Invisible Children