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Category — The Things I Do

Eat So They Can

Children being fed in school

Remember when you were a kid and your parents used to tell you that there are starving kids in Africa if you wouldn’t finish your dinner? Having seen it for first hand in Kenya I can tell you that they were right. This year on the 17th and 18th of October, to coincide with world food day, the GVN Foundation is putting together a global dinner party called Eat So They Can. Where people host dinners for their friends and families to raise money to stamp out hunger around the world.

Every day, 25,000 people die because of hunger; 18,000 of them are children. The World has produced more then enough food to feed itself since the 1960′s, yet around the world, over 850 million people are chronically hungry.

Picture 7

Living in Kenya for the past month, I’ve been lucky to have been well fed by my host family, or able to afford food when I need it, but I’ve seen many people who are not so lucky. The drought in Kenya has put food prices up and food security is a big issue here. At the school where the HIV project is based, the children get fed a hot meal every day, but for some it’s the only meal they get, as there families can’t afford the high prices.

I won’t be hosting an event this year since I’m in Africa, but I know people who are hosting events around the world and so will be speaking to those people at the event over webcam using Skype, speaking about my experience here and what I’ve seen in the programs I’ve been part of.

Get Involved

You can get involved too, here are a couple of ways.

  1. Sign up to host a dinner party for your friends and raise money.
  2. Find out about existing events and help promote and attend them.
  3. Follow and Retweet @EatSoTheyCan on Twitter.
  4. Join the Eat So They Can Facebook group
  5. Spread the word with the Eat So They Can trailer below.

If you are hosting an event, and are interesting in talking with me via webcam during the dinner, contact me via the comments section below, or message @HelpMeHelpKenya on Twitter and we will set it up.

September 30, 2009   1 Comment

Cheetah Cubs

Four month old cheetah cubsI most definitely came to Kenya to help people, those living with HIV/AIDS or displaced by the brutal post 2007 election violence. But I wasn’t going to come to Africa without seeing some of the amazing animals it’s so famous for. On the second day of orientation we went to an animal orphanage and saw some of the animals which had been rescued in the wild. Most of them we’re now fully grown, and would live out their days in the orphanage, they would most likely die if let back out into the wild, as they would never have learned how to hunt or not be hunted. We did however get to see, and hold some very young cheetah cubs.

One month old cheetah cub

The one month old baby I’m holding in the photo was a bit timid reminding me of my own cat when we got her as a kitten, her little (non retractable) claws digging into my shirt. The other two are four months old and were abandoned by their mother when they were two months old, They played with us and each other (a little rough), they liked to lick and chew on your finger. I really hope to get to see other animals both in parks like this, and in the wild, but this was an amazing experience.

More photos after the break. [Read more →]

September 4, 2009   1 Comment

Blood Work, it flows both ways

RCFisher-1918Everyone knows that Africa has it’s share of diseases right? Well it does, and many of them are preventable and some of them are curable. So in preparation for my trip I’m going to a travel clinic to make sure that all my immunizations are up to date. In fact they won’t let you into Kenya unless you can prove that you’ve had all the right shots. My appointment is this Thursday, the doc is going to jab me a few times, and give me some prescriptions for common virus’ that might get me. But before I go get stuck, I’m going to get sucked.

I give blood at the New York Blood Center whenever I can, you can only donate whole blood every 56 days. I’m lucky enough to not be afraid of needles (unlike some people) so that’s not a big deal, and I see it as a great way to help the community. It only takes about 30 minutes to give whole blood, 15 minutes is a quick interview and health check which they have to do each time, then for 15 minutes I lie watching whatever day time movie they have on, while squeezing a little ball to help the red stuff flow. Part of the very thorough interview are some questions about travel, and one of them is about Africa. If you’ve been to Africa, especially for an extended period of time, or had certain immunizations, you can’t give blood for a few years. So I’m going to give one last time before I go. I’m a bit sad that I wont be able to contribute to my New York community in this way for a while, but I’m glad to be off to help another community.

The Red Cross accepts blood donations in most places around the world, except in New York where it’s handled by the New York Blood Center. Blood is needed by hospitals in communities everywhere all the time, I would encourage everyone to donate a little of the red love to their community, you never know when you’re gonna need to make a withdrawal.

July 13, 2009   No Comments