Africa

May 24, 2010
By
The world is like an artist’s canvas; streaks of pleasure, pain, love, and hate mix to form an overall picture. These mysterious forces are constantly interacting with each other trying to maintain a natural balance. It is this very struggle that I observe in this picture. Mother Natures’ beauty is astonishing, bringing life to the ocean and plains. However, the dark gloomy cloud of despair is still present alongside this beauty. This picture portrays an issue we face today: the unequal balance of forces. In Europe, I see a vast amount of land glowing with lights. On the other hand, Africa has very few lights present. The lack of lights suggests much about the difference between the continents.
Lights represent prosperity, civilization, economic wealth, and industrialization. The darkness in Africa implies some of these elements are missing. Throughout history corrupt government and constant ethnic warfare has left Africa unstable. In fact, Africa is one of the poorest continents in the world.
In the past, I have seen numerous documentaries depicting this continuous struggle. Africans achingly work for the bare minimum. I remember watching a women hull tourists bags over her bare shoulders from one side of the mountain to the other side for a couple of pennies. She would repeat this strenuous job to buy food for her family from the market. This daily struggle portrays the hardship many Africans face. Besides her agonizing over of how she could afford food for her family you could tell she was in need of new clothing. Her dress was torn and tattered screaming to be put at rest. Yet there was still hope in her eyes because she wanted her children to lead a better life, and correctly so because many steps can be taken to help Africa.
The first step that should be taken is bringing more awareness to these issues. Many people are uninformed about the situation facing Africa and many other countries like it. I propose requiring students to take a World Awareness class where the focus is to educate high school students’ about lives of people in underdeveloped countries. Targeting young adults with this information will hopefully inspire them to want to bring change to undeveloped countries. After all it takes is for one person to press an issue that could set a chain reaction that will make a difference. With more people willing to help it will be easier to aid Africa towards the right path of development. Another step that can be taken is that all the factories that produce food and clothing goods should be required to donate their partially imperfect products to African areas in need. For instance if Nike makes a batch of shirts by mistake without the letter “k” in it, those should be given to the African people in need of clothing. Food factories can donate their flawed canned goods to starving and malnourished Africans. It is time we start being wiser with the resources we have. Since we seem to make excess it is only right for use it purposefully. More importantly than just giving to Africa we can provide the people with resources that will teach them to be self-sufficient. A team of educated life coaches should be sent to Africa so teach them efficient life skills. For instance they could teach African villages how to efficiently grow crops to be able to feed themselves. Also for those areas that already farm they could provide them with tools that would make their jobs easier. Proper housing could be built for them just like we do here with Habitat for Humanity and then teach them how to maintain that house. We could also provide them with running water and teach them how to maintain that clean clear water. After the team has completed these tasks they should leave Africa for 3 months and then came back and do a status check. If the African people are doing well than they will continue to provide them with resources to sustain their new lifestyle.

The strokes of misfortune run deep in Africa’s land- but that should not hinder us from wanting to bring change. It will be difficult but as long as people suffer- the world suffers. The best solution is for us to take our excess fortunes and teach Africa how to achieve its own wealth as well. Once this is achieved the world will glow with its perfectly balanced strokes of fortune and prosperity





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