Africa, your sufferings have been a theme that has engaged and arrested my heart. Your sufferings no tongue can express, no language impart.These words by Sir William Wilberforce (1759-1833) were about his desire for the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of English society. They are still relevant today, as much of the African continent struggles with drought and the ravages of poverty, social injustice and disease. Though there are many nations in Africa where opportunity abounds, Southern Africa in particular is still a hotbed of famine and AIDS. Though we at SLI agree with Ms. Dambisa Moyo that government-to-government aid is not a workable solution, this is not to say that humanitarian relief efforts by individuals and small dedicated groups do not have value -- much suffering can be relieved as we build relationships, as we give of ourselves, as we do what each of us is capable of doing. As Mother Teresa said, "if you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." And as William Wilberforce reminds us:
Having heard all of this, you may choose to look the other way . . . but you can never say again that you did not know.