When I think about poverty in my temple throb with pain one name – Africa. Away from romance of Casablanca, Egyptian pyramids or the safari in Kenya. I associate Africa more with hunger and its hundred faces. Everywhere in the world it insatiably rules in suburbs, desert places, poky houses. But in Africa its defeated dance tightens up the senses. How could I live through that – reconciling from malaria human bodies, crouching in the dust to a sheet metal in the ghetto, naked children with puny legs and huge tearful eyes, fierce male faces and hands with swollen veins and automatic weapons. A terrifying picture of human hopelessness. And fear - of Death. I have never been to Africa. I look at it from the outside. As an active internet user who communicates virtual, read horrific statistics, follow reporting from hot spots, shares foreign concerns from a distance. But feel, cry and dream as thousands of decades ago. Human. With a heart which is not only mine, but of the whole world. Because I am a part of this world. And I cannot stay indifferent.
What can I do? A twenty-year old girl from a small Bulgarian town. I can dream of the day when Africa will be another. Not as Ryszard Kapuściński, Polish journalist, describes it. I read a part of his book The Shadow of the Sun and I realized what is a denied future. Imagine life which goes in search of shade. The only activity in the day dedicated to the fight against hunger. Another day you drink only water and fight with the heat. Nothing exists – only you, the sun and the shadow. You build your life on these three points of support and wait for death. Fight with your brutalization as you find: gaping passers, exchanging a word with your neighbor, busy with the same activity - not to miss the shade. Otherwise the heat will first reach forward your dried-up heart. Heart which bears nothing – neither pain nor sorrow, nor dream. For which there is no tomorrow. There is only now. And a little shade before the saving embrace of sleep.
Alone, I cannot even change myself. But together we can achieve a lot. Let's begin from there to believe that things can be changed. Hunger - defeated. Hope - returned. Future - seen outside the Shadow. And the sun - turned into a symbol of total living. The change in attitudes towards developing countries depends on young people. These countries really need of help to deal with poverty. Political leaders and international organizations, however, should look objectively on the concept developing country. To take – even imaginary the place of the person seeking the shade to forget hunger. To feel - albeit slightly - wanderers among the chaos that seems unassembled. Otherwise we will remain eternal nomads in the desert of indifference.
The world has made the first step - understanding the need. But I, you, we all have to keep walking. With small but sure steps. To make people to escape from the shadow and to believe in the other possible life - fill, work, home, ownership, dreams. There is already lined horizon - these are the objectives of the Millennium Development. The point is these objectives to be translated into effective actions which will provide thousands of tiny horizons. Beyond the shadows. And starvation. I would start with children because they are the most defenseless. Because they rely on support and cannot walk alone to their horizon. I imagine school in Africa as spacious, bright and clean building in which children learn to cope with the challenges and fight for their future. Through knowledge. And values such as trust, understanding, tolerance, activity, constancy, persistence. At school the little person meets examples of good and learns to do good. And most importantly, learns to expect and looks for good. It starts from man and reaches the state - its good governance means respect for human rights, democracy, rule of law, gender equality, tackling corruption, friendly attitude towards natural resources.
I realize that my ideas for the development of Africa are too vague, but the specificity is in the power of big politics. And leaders who take responsibility. I can only take my inconspicuous share of activity - in my thought and heart. To help people in Africa, if only from afar. To wish the salvation. And the future. To achieve the change. For themselves, for their children, for their native country and for Africa.
by: Elena Tarakova