Hola! Today I went to my first churrascaria (Brazilian AYCE steakhouse), Fogo de Chao in Beverly Hills. Swanky place, definitely better for lunch than dinner in terms of price. I enjoyed some pretty nom nom cuts of meat! Loved the rib-eye, picanha, and garlic steak. They had some pretty good baby back ribs & cuts of lamb as well.
It’s World Humanitarian Day and in honor of that, I’m asking for your guys’s help. Some of you might remember I did my honors thesis at Cal on HIV/AIDS programs in Uganda. One of the people who helped me the most with my project was this man Moses Kigozi. He is from Masaka, Uganda and coordinates all the HIV/AIDS programs in his district through a center called MADNASO. He recently founded a non-profit CHEDRA to help women and children affected and left vulnerable by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
I emailed him recently to see how he is doing and he asked for my help. He has the kindest heart and I want to do everything possible to help him and his non-profit because I truly believe in them. CHEDRA is locally-founded and locally-run, so I think it’s very important to help support them - it’s goes beyond just giving outside aid. Here are people from their own community helping one another - I find it truly inspiring and as a development-economist-in-training, I think it’s very important to help these community-based non-profits thrive.
Moses needs our help publicizing CHEDRA and securing donations so that they can earn a permanent place on the Global Giving website. Global Giving is an online marketplace that connects donors with grassroots projects in the developing world - they will give CHEDRA more exposure to potential donors and a way for potential donors to give monetary support securely online (you can pay by credit card, PayPal, check, and even stock transfer).
I ask of you just two things:
(1) Please visit the website, read more about their cause, and click the Facebook share button. The project that gets the most shares on Facebook will receive a $300 bonus from Global Giving - that’s enough to send THREE orphans to school. Who would have thought social networking sites could actually make an impact like that!
Here is the link to the website: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/water-and-education-for-500-hiv-victims-in-uganda/
(2) Please at least consider giving up something small to donate - make a PB&J sandwich for lunch instead of eating out, walk to the store instead of driving, etc. - even the smallest donation will make a difference. So far, they only have two donors: myself, and my friend Moses. They need at least 48 more donors to raise $3,540 to earn a permanent place on Global Giving. I know that it is difficult to give when you don’t have a lot - believe me, I just checked my bank account and I am in the double digits…(I know =/). But even if it’s just $5 or $10, it will make a difference.
Also please feel free to forward this email to others and help publicize in any way that you can - Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Thank you guys so much for reading this and helping me. It really means a lot.
Hi! Sorry I haven’t updated my blog in forever… I took a long vacation after I finished my exams and now I am back at school again. So busy! But I wanted to write a quick blog entry in hopes that someone will read this and decide to help. I promise I’ll update again later with some more personal news!
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before - I used to work very closely with UNICEF when I was an undergraduate. UNICEF is still an organization that is very dear to my heart. I truly believe in the work that they do.
As you may know, there is an emergency situation currently going on in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti). Over 2 million lives of children are at risk due to drought (the worst Somalia has experienced in 50 years), rising food prices, and armed conflict. These children are severely malnourished and left vulnerable to violence and disease. It has gotten so bad that in the UN-declared famine zones of Somalia, almost 10% of ALL children under 5 die EVERY three months. Ten percent of all children under 5 dying from preventable causes. It is truly heartbreaking.
A child who has arrived at the refugee camp in Kenya, after walking for 17 days.
A severely malnourished child - the circumference of her arm is only 9.6 centimeters.
And it is only going to get worse if we don’t do everything we can to help. Here is an excerpt from UNICEF’s full humanitarian action report:
UNICEF’s work is a race against time. The United Nations has warned that if immediate action is not taken, famine could spread to all eight southern regions of Somalia in two months. Across the Horn, the magnitude of the suffering and loss is tremendous in this ”children’s famine.” Life-saving actions from UNICEF and its partners are urgently needed to prevent the deaths of an estimated 480,000 severely malnourished children and to help an additional 1,649,000 who are moderately malnourished. Over 10 million people are threatened by the drought and the resulting food insecurity as circumstances have triggered enormous refugee outflows to Kenya and Ethiopia, thus amplifying an already severe humanitarian crisis.
I know that when it comes to charitable giving, people often think, “What difference am I going to make? I’m sure someone else will donate the money.” As someone who has experience fundraising for a humanitarian organization, who has worked very closely with UNICEF, and who is studying to be a development economist, I can only say this: even the smallest act of kindness makes a difference.
Thanks to many generous donations, as of July 21, UNICEF has raised over $85.6 million for the Horn of Africa Crisis. However, there is still a funding gap. UNICEF estimates a total need of $300 million through 2011, in order to accommodate the influx of Somalian refugees who need food, shelter, and medical care.
Just $10 will feed a child for ten days. The main reason I love UNICEF so much is that their humanitarian efforts are smart, cost-efficient, and well-researched. If you want to learn more about how UNICEF helps, please check out their website here for a wealth of information. You can also read the full humanitarian action report here.
Please consider learning more about the famine crisis and how you can help. I understand that most of us are not rich and it is not always so easy to give. Believe me, I am living day-to-day on a grad student’s budget. But please, just consider giving up something small - try making a PB&J sandwich instead of eating out for lunch and donate that $10 to help save a child’s life.
You can text FOOD to UNICEF to donate $10, or go to their website here (and as always, donations are also tax-deductible - woo hoo!)
For those of you who took the time to read this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.