The dreams of Africa’s children

Meanwhile, a world away, children are starving in Africa. Parents of Africa’s children don’t worry about schooling or their nation’s economy much. When you are facing famine, drought, civil war and other man-made devastation, simple survival is a far more pressing concern.

By Chris Ingram

Special correspondent, the Tampa Tribune

Published July 31, 2011

My girls, one 7 years old and 4-year-old twins, aren’t “spoiled” by any means, but they certainly aren’t doing without.

My wife and I worry about the normal things parents in the U.S. fret about — weirdoes who prey on kids, bullies at school, getting them a good education and the mess that the U.S. Congress is leaving them in the form of a staggering $14 trillion debt.

But for the most part, we’re relatively worry-free and optimistic about their future.

Meanwhile, a world away, children are starving in Africa. Parents of Africa’s children don’t worry about schooling or their nation’s economy much. When you are facing famine, drought, civil war and other man-made devastation, simple survival is a far more pressing concern.

Recent news reports from The Associated Press say the current drought and resulting famine in the Horn of Africa is “the worst human disaster” in the world.

Unfortunately, starvation, drought, disease and poverty are nothing new to the region.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to do some consulting for foreign governments in Africa and Eastern Europe on behalf of the U.S. State Department. My work in Africa consisted of training political leaders in the ways of Western-style governance, dealing with the media and communicating messages.

Our government euphemistically calls the countries I have worked in “emerging democracies.” Some of the countries where I have worked in Africa include Sudan and Kenya — currently plagued by drought, and both overcoming years of civil war or internal strife.

Click here to read the full column in Sunday’s Tampa Tribune.

 

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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6 thoughts on “The dreams of Africa’s children”

  1. Sobering thoughts, Chris. Your column will give me pause on the occasions I say the United States should stop wasting money on aid to other nations. But you point to crying needs. I’d feel much better if our foreign aid was in the form of necessaries, delivered directly to the camps by Americans, as opposed to money going to the local government leaders. We know what happens to most of that money.

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  2. You are absolutely right about what happens to the aid $. A report a few years ago said something like half of all intl aid to Africa doesn’t end up where it was intended to go. Lots of corruption over there…

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  3. One Good Liberal say Bloomberg, Gates, Kerry-(Heinz), Pelosi, Corzine, Soros,Buffett could easily eliminate the suffering of one of these camps,build water & sewage facilities,permanent housing, and start up food production, plus health clinics……..
    But Alas Liberals only use other people’s money, usually seized at gunpoint through income taxes. The Ruling Elites are already Wealthy, they do not pay much in Income Taxes, receiving their jetting/yachting around change from tax free government bonds.
    Who cares anyway? Raise the Debt Limit, Print more worthless Dollars and we might just get some FEMA Camps of our own for the USSA!
    Obama-Bush’s “Spread the Wealth” isn’t just for internal Amerika, nooo we will “Equalize” the World; not through Charity but thru Taxes and Monetary QE3 “Easing”.

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  4. chris

    great column today!!! interestingly enough, i was going to call you this week as i just returned from another trip to africa. in the past i went to angola and morocco. this time a bunch of us from UF had a state dept grant and went to the former french west africa, which included chad, niger, burkina faso, mali, mauritania and senegal. we left late june and i just got back last week. thankfully, these countries are emerging democracies and there is not the devastating povertyt – for the most part – you reported or that i saw in angola. these places have a long way to go, but i felt a lot better coming home than on my previous trips.

    so, lets talk and compare notes and figure out how to take one of these trips together next time.

    roger

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  5. Good column. But, my compassion has run out for these folks. Today, that small hand looks for food, and many will, I regret to say, die. But, the fingers of those who will survive will be found pulling a trigger at an American down the road. Be it as a pirate or a soldier.
    We only need to look to our south and Panama. A nation with the Canal and potential for so much wealth, but drive just minutes outside of Panama City and people live without running water. The leaders are not leaders but just feeders on the backs of these uneducated people.

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  6. Chris,
    I read you piece in the Sun. Trib and was very impressed. I did not realize you were so widely traveled. I am sure it was tough to see the conditions those children live in and know there is not a heck of alot you can do about it. To make it even worse we know the basic cause was, is, politics; just like the problems we face here today. We here in the good ‘ole USA really have no idea what true hardship and poverty really is. Hope we never have to find out.

    Your Friend

    Mike D

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