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Oct-08-2010 10:39printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

New weekly update on the breaking stories in the African nations.

Boys in Somalia
Boys in Somalia courtesy:

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Unseen, unheard; no one should be the bearer of these two words. Unfortunately, Africa is often in the forefront of this association.

Our common humanity should change this; we should never look away because it is too distant. Our commitment to one another, to human rights, and the ability to learn should always keep us connected no matter the severity and complexity of problems.

Important insights from last week, not to be missed:

Uganda: Free Aids Drugs for Extra 32,000 Citizens - An extra 32,000 people living with HIV will receive free life-prolonging treatment over the next two years after the United States government gave Uganda more money. 32,000 People to Receive AIDS Drugs

Kenya: Poor Sanitation Brings Misery to Slums - Poor sanitation, lack of water and related disease outbreaks are making the lives of the residents of the sprawling Korogocho slums in Nairobi even harder. Slum Misery Made Worse by Poor Sanitation

UN Gives $6 Million to Mothers In Niger - The United Nations is giving $6 million in cash from its Children's Fund to mothers in Niger so they can buy food amidst widespread hunger in that West African country brought on by last year's lack of needed rain for crops. Mothers in Niger Receive $6 Million from UN

Do US Politicians Have the courage to Confront the LRA During the Mid-Term Elections - The coming weeks present an opportunity to neutralize the Lord’s Resistance Army and prevent the looming escalation of atrocities in Central Africa. The key question is whether Americans have the resolve to see it through. Confrontint the LRA at Election Time

40,000 girls forced into prostitution - Many thousands of Nigerian girls have been forced into prostitution in the nearby West African nation of Mali, the country's anti-human trafficking agency said on Wednesday. 40,000 Girls Forced into Prostitution

Somaliland, an African exception - To the south lies Somalia, the archetypal failed state. To the north, Somaliland, which in June organized one of the most democratic elections Africa has seen for a long time. The explanation for this contrast lies in history. When Britain occupied the north of Somalia at the end of the 19th century, it intended only to prevent the French from gaining a strategic outlet on the Red Sea, and provide cheap food for its colony in Aden, in the Arabian desert. The British were not concerned with making money from the territory and were content to run it at arm’s length, interfering little with the indigenous system of governance and (effective) mechanisms for resolving conflict in a nomadic society. Somiland is an African Exception -

Chadian rebels accused of rapes, taking farmland north of Kutum, Darfur - Members of the Chadian armed opposition in areas around Al Shakur north of Kutum are accused of raping four women during this past week, two of them on Wednesday. Witnesses who spoke to Radio Dabanga from the region said that one of the girls who was raped was transferred to receive treatment in Kutum. Rebels in Chad Accused of Rape

Angolan Polio Outbreak Threatens Efforts to Eliminate Disease from Africa, UN Warns - A polio immunization campaign targeting 5.6 million children was launched in Angola today as the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the southern African country was quickly becoming the greatest threat to continent-wide eradication efforts. Efforts to Eliminate Disease from Africa Threatened -

Kenya Sees Rise in Reports of Child Sex Abuse - Emma has gone to court every month for 2½ years to try and prove that a neighbor raped her mentally disabled 14-year-old daughter. The process is excruciating. Evidence went missing. The court file disappeared. Officials mock and ignore her. But the illiterate single mother perseveres, encouraged by a new Kenyan government help line started two and a half years ago to fight child abuse. Rise in Child Sex Abuse in Kenya - NY Times

Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at:

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