News / Africa

ONE Campaign Raises Awareness for Somali Famine

Group, co-founded by rock musician Bono, also supports programs that would help withstand drought

Women and children stand at the edge of an impromptu camp of internally displaced people that has sprung up near the airport, Mogadishu, July 27, 2011
Women and children stand at the edge of an impromptu camp of internally displaced people that has sprung up near the airport, Mogadishu, July 27, 2011
Julia Laurence

More than 12 million people are believed be at risk in the Horn of Africa and the advocacy group ONE wants to raise awareness of the crisis as a first step to action.

Kimberly Hunter, the U.S. press secretary for the group, said, "We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice. That’s really what the primary mission of our organization is: to be a kind of political force for the world’s poorest and be a voice for those who don’t have one in congress.”

Hunter says raising awareness of issues and getting the word out to its members is the group’s primary task.  The group’s website says it has two-and-a-half million members. The ONE campaign is concerned with helping to erase the United Nation’s $1 billion budget deficit and supporting programs to end hunger and poverty around the world.

Sheila Nix, the group’s U.S. executive director, said, "A lot of our members come from the faith community, or students, or returning veterans, or women, and those voices are really important for members of congress to hear from, especially from their local districts. So our ONE members have been very effective in working with some of our other partner groups to achieve some of these goals.”

Women and children queue to receive food at a World Food Program distribution center in Mogadishu.
Women and children queue to receive food at a World Food Program distribution center in Mogadishu.

And Nix adds that ONE also encourages programs that will help prevent future droughts.

“What we also point out," she said, "is in the long term, these situations can be prevented for the most part with some adequate investments in agriculture to help countries survive drought issues. You’ll even see that in Kenya and Ethiopia the situation is not as bad as it might have been because of investments in better agriculture practices and early warning systems and we’d like to make sure that, especially in these times of budget cuts, that those kind of programs don’t get cut.”

ONE is a strong supporter of a U.S. initiative to address hunger and poverty called Feed the Future, which was launched in May 2010.  Nix and the head of the World Food Program, Josette Sheeran, recently joined the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Raj Shah, in a conference call with ONE members.

“We are embarking on a long term strategy," explained Shah, "where President Obama in 2009, together with world leaders at the G20, announced a major effort - Feed the Future -  to make sure that we invested in agriculture and the long term solutions to these types of famines and food riots.  It’s important that the world lives up to those commitments.”

While the voice a ONE’s co-founder Bono is important in getting the word out, Nix says it is its members that have become a fighting voice advocating for people in Somalia and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa as the drought worsens. Nix believes the voices of the group prove that efforts to raise awareness about the famine are just as important and effective as efforts to raise money.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs