Romanians rally to help children in drought-stricken East Africa

As food shortages and malnutrition claim young lives across Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, and famine is declared in parts of conflict-weary Somalia, Romanians are being asked to reach out across the seas to east Africa, which is suffering the worst drought in 60 years.

World Vision Romania has launched an online campaign to raise awareness about the crisis that millions of children and families are facing and also to give the Romanian public the opportunity to get involved and donate.“As citizen of the global village, physical boundaries are not an obstacle anymore - it is our duty to care and get involved. This is why we want to give Romanians a change to contribute and join World Vision in fighting for the lives of families that are struggling to feed their children. We cannot stand aside and watch while they suffer, we have to act together. Please visit our website and show that you care”, said Adela Fundulea, Marketing Manager for World Vision Romania.

“I am back in the Horn of Africa three years later to cover a drought that seems to have no end. The situation is worse than before. I tried to make eye contact with some of the 500 mothers waiting for food in scant shade. But the light had gone out of their eyes. They had no interest in interacting. The drought had finally taken its toll on their steely spirits”, writes Kari Costanza, World Vision Writer & Editor, in Kenya.

With more than 60 years of experience working at international level in community development projects, advocacy and crisis intervention, World Vision International is currently supporting more than one million people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

I tried to make eye contact with some of the 500 mothers waiting for food in scant shade. But the light had gone out of their eyes. They had no interest in interacting

World Vision is providing food, water and medication where it is needed most. Of the children directly supported by World Vision in Kenya and Ethiopia, 211,000 are living in the areas which are severely affected by drought. In Somalia, 66,000 children who are benefitting from World Vision projects need urgent intervention.

After decades of communism, Romanians are learning again what it means to live and act as a community. As part of a new EU (European Union) member country, they are also learning how to care for others, even though they might be thousands of kilometres away.

In the last few years, Romanian corporate and public donors have joined World Vision Romania’s efforts to help children in difficult situations – poor children in rural areas fighting for their right to education or health, children with disabilities striving for equal opportunities and helping Roma children struggling with discrimination.

World Vision Romania will continue its efforts to “speak” to the Romanian public and donors on behalf of children in need – may they be Romanian children desperately wanting to go to school in poor areas such as Vaslui County; the country’s poorest area, northeast of the capital Bucharest, or African children who desperately needed to be nourished and protected.