I read an article today about a Harlem Church working with an Ethiopian coffee growers. According to the NY Times, "the Abyssinian Fund, the only nongovernmental organization in Ethiopia formed by an African-American church, the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. The Fund plans to pay for specialized training and equipment to help the co-op’s farmers produce a higher-quality product so they can be more competitive on the international coffee market. Once their income has increased, part of what they make will then be set aside in a fund to support local development projects, like much-needed roads, schools or clinics. The Abyssinian Baptist Church has a connection to Ethiopia that goes back to the church’s founding in 1808 by free blacks and Ethiopian merchant seamen who refused to worship where blacks and whites were segregated."
One donor gave the powerful insight that, "Even though we were born here in America, we are part of that African soil. And because of what Africa has given the world and what they stand for, we must give back." And so once this organization and the support of the local African-American people, they then went and received the support of the Ethiopian government, which was a large step in itself, considering the government does not trust many NGOs.
This act of African- Americans helping a particular nation in Africa is on that should inspire all of us to do the same. If we all cosnider ancestral lines, we may come from Eastern Europe or South America, but in the end the start of life leads to Africa, teh continent as a whole and we shoudl not turn our back on the troubles citizens of the coutnries there face. If these people in Harlem (most known as a lower income area of NY) can reach out and give, than I think we all can find something we support and lend a hand.
BBC Article: At a summit in Uganda, they approved a request to send 2,000 more troops to the Somali capital Mogadishu. Rules of engagement are to be changed to allow the troops to fire first if they are facing imminent attack. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had wanted a tougher mandate to "eliminate" the al-Qaeda linked group that allowed forces to go on the offensive. He told the BBC that AU peacekeepers were "confused" by the current mandate. "They … more
TIME Article: It's no secret that the global economy hasn't exactly been a boon to the labor movement. But globalization can be cruelest to the Third World employees it was supposed to raise out of poverty. As developing countries compete for investment from large foreign corporations, they all too often push workers' wages, benefits and rights so low that many of them ought to be called sweatshop nations today instead of banana republics. Case in point: In January … more
My name is Laura, I am currently living in D.C. and attend American University. I am originally from Staten Island, NY. I am majoring in International Relations with a focus in Peace and Conflict Resolution. … more
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