News / Africa

    Medical Aid Group Launches Fundraiser for Central Africa Republic

    Yaman Ahmat, center, sits with her children at Bangui Airport after only hours earlier, her husband Marcus Madi, had put her and their eight children including newborn daughter Ashta onto a flight to the capital in a desperate bid to save their lives, but  he was tragically killed on his return from the airport, March 7, 2014.
    Yaman Ahmat, center, sits with her children at Bangui Airport after only hours earlier, her husband Marcus Madi, had put her and their eight children including newborn daughter Ashta onto a flight to the capital in a desperate bid to save their lives, but he was tragically killed on his return from the airport, March 7, 2014.
    The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders -- known by its French acronym MSF -- has launched an appeal in South Africa to raise $50,000 for its operations in the Central African Republic (CAR).   The campaign -- called #ActForCAR -- says the funds are urgently needed to help some of the 1 million Central Africans displaced over the past 15 months.

    Speaking at the launch of the MSF fundraising drive in Johannesburg on Wednesday, South African psychologist Gail Wormersley said thousands of displaced people in the CAR are living in human misery and terror.

    She appealed to South Africans to urgently donate at least $50,000 for water purification, malaria treatment, food supplements for children and general medical care.

    Wormersley, who spent six weeks in the CAR providing psychological counseling to patients and MSF staff, described the mood of the victims as dominated by hopelessness.

    “What I saw is people who have been exposed to such high levels of conflict and of trauma, almost reached a stage where they stop feeling, it’s a stage of feeling absolutely overwhelmed and powerless in the face of the situation and a level of despair," explained Wormersley. "Where people almost want to say, "Let me give up, I can’t handle this situation.'"

    South African TV personality and businessman Masego Maponya was also on hand and asked South Africans to do their part in saving lives.

    “We’re here today to really call to action and appeal to the public to try and raise this 500,000 rand because we feel that it’s reachable.  If you think about it, it’s 50 rand from 10,000 people and every single cent really, really counts, no matter how much anyone contributes.” Maponya stated.

    The crisis in the CAR began a year ago when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the president and launched a wave of killing and looting -- provoking a backlash from mostly Christian militias known as the anti-balaka.   

    At least one quarter of the country’s 4.6 million people have been displaced and are in need of urgent medical care both inside the country and in refugee camps in neighboring Chad and Cameroon.

    Wormersley said every month MSF medical staff provides nearly 30,000 consultations but that is not enough. 

    “All South Africans have a role that they can play, be it giving 50 rand to the appeal. A 100 rand can provide 200,000 liters of safe drinking water.  Five hundred rand gives us enough medical equipment to care for the mothers who have to deliver babies safely under these incredibly stressful situations,” said Wormersley.

    South Africa - the economic powerhouse on the continent - was among the first to respond to the growing CAR crisis in 2013.  It dispatched several hundred soldiers only to withdraw shortly after when 13 were killed and nearly 30 badly injured during the Seleka-backed coup.

    MSF hopes South Africans feel solidarity through loss and contribute.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.