I was watching the national news on Italian television yesterday and I was shocked when I discovered that nobody mentioned the famine in the Horn of Africa. In the morning I called the Ministero degli Affari Esteri in order to ask whether there was a hot line for those who want to donate some money or send some food or basic stuff to the people in need there. They told me no (they seemed really surprised I called to ask such a "stupid" question!), but assured me that the Italian television was going to air some PSAs on this topic. Up to now, they haven't been aired yet and I wonder what they are waiting for...if they keep waiting is going to be too late!
For those who want to donate and help relieving this terrible famine, I found these two websites and would like to share them with you:
Just one American dollar can help the lives of four children, and I think every little can help, in this moment. Also sharing videos on facebook and banners can help in the mobilization process (see http://www.wfp.org/stories/horn-africa-10-ways-you-can-help)
I guess yesterday I was really fighting and nervous. Unexpectedly, my day started in a very quiet way, with a view of the Olympic PSAs that were broadcast in China just before the Beijing 2008 Olympics...to my astonishment, I discovered that many PSAs were about saving resources. And this was good.
What is not good is that it seems they didn't work at all, even though they were produced and aired just a couple of years ago. During my last stay in Beijing I discovered the air conditioning was always set at 18 degrees, no matter if I found myself in a restaurant, in the lobby of my dorm, or in the tube. It was freezing inside public spaces, while outside it was really hot. I became very fussy about this and I kept complaining, saying that it was actually a waste and resources can come to an end. Moreover, too much air conditioning is no good for your health. They didn't seem to care that much. This attitude made me mad. I'm not saying that Italy is better: on the contrary, we don't get as many PSAs as they do there, and I think it is really a waste to produce and air PSAs without finding a way to make them useful through the years.
And the second thing that made me mad yesterday is the following: why when I check my mail I always bump into commercial banners? Or news about Pippa Middleton? Why websites of important newspapers or search engines cannot help in giving visibility to the famine in the Horn of Africa that is taking place, NOW? Why nobody seems to care? Why do I need to bump into this kind of banner:
and not this one?
Why do people prefer to spend their time reading gossip about VIP instead of helping someone in need? There is nothing to OMG about it. I think media are not taking up their responsability, and if I think of MTV programs such as TEEN CRIBS and PARIS HILTON DUBAI BFF I become even madder! Sorry, but I couldn't keep it anymore! And what we should OMG about is that by deleting some countries from our knowledge of the world is making everything worse, because we are going nowhere. And possibly this economic crisis should make us think about an alternative solution, that is sustainable for the majority, not the minority of countries. I know, I am a dreamer...