Saturday, April 28, 2007

Do YOU care?


A group of local high school students at Manitoulin Secondary School planned, organized, and put on an event to spread the word to their community about the genocide that is taking place in Darfur. How wonderful is it that these teenagers would be so involved in a cause that is so much larger than themselves and that they would think outside their world? I think it's absolutely marvelous.

Hubby and I, along with my mother, took my student to a fundraising dinner for Darfur. At the door, people were given bracelets that read: "CULTIVATE PEACE- thehungersite.com". Dr. Kevin O'Connell was the guest speaker for the evening and he talked about his experience with http://www.medecinsdumonde.org.uk/ in Darfur. He had maps, quotes by politicians and world leaders, and some photos of the people in Darfur.

I truly believe that it is important for me to expose my students to these kind of problems and show them that there is a larger world outside the one they live in. We got to eat some delicious traditional African food as well. It was so funny...When one of the students brought over our basket of African bread, my student touched them all and said, "Oh! Hand towels!" He thought they were for cleaning your hands before you eat! (Don't laugh! My mom thought that's what they were too!). The bread was rolled up, so they did look like hand towels. They were to be used to scoop up the food. You're supposed to eat African food with your hands. I was quite surprised by how spicy the food was! I love spicy food, but was concerned for Hubby. He surprised me by going back for more! What a lovely experience the evening was.

Some may feel that because something isn't happening in our own backyard, it isn't our problem. I do believe that those who cannot protect themselves need the help of people who can do something. To watch idly as helpless, innocent people are killed and not take any action at all makes us as guilty as those who commit the crime. After the Holocaust, world leaders vowed that "Never again" would anything like this happen. Armenia, Rwanda, and other countries have suffered ethnic genocides as well, and each time, world leaders have said, "Never again".

I've had countless arguments with people close to me about these sort of things. Some may say that I've got the "Mother Theresa Syndrome" where I feel the need to help everyone. I don't exactly think that is an accurate view of my beliefs, but I do have some very strong ideas and beliefs. Just because something is not happening in our own backyard, doesn't mean we are not accountable as human beings. Nobody (no person, country, or group) has the right to take away someone else's basic human rights. This is just the way I feel though.

Here are some websites to peruse:
Darfur: A Genocide We Can Stop www.darfurgenocide.org
*Note: Absolutely none of the photos were taken by me. I found them on Google Images and unfortunately, I don't know their original sources. I would have liked to give proper credit to the photographers, rather than just nab them off the Net like that.

19 comments:

japanmanpete said...

Would you think me a bloody wanker if I told you that I have never been interested in the world around me? I've got my share of problems and cannot think of helping others presently. I am a right mess. This is true.

t said...

Wutevah! The world would be a cold and horrible place to live in if there weren't people like you in it. I for one think you are wonderful to care about others that way. Many of us think first and foremost of ourselves and only ourselves (or people close to us like family and just good friends). I admit I could be more worldly and helpful to those who need aid. At least Im not as bad as Pete is! (I kid, Pete. Don't take it personally ok?) :-)

Uncivil said...

Oh lord! I'm with Pete on this one! Sorry, I'm just introverted like that!

But I'm so glad for all the Chrissy's in this world.

Thanks for linking me up, and I linked to you too!

You and hubby are the best!

Doggy Mama said...

Christine, the world is a better place because of people like you! Your compassion and desire to help those in need is so admirable! It sounds like you all had a wonderful evening!!

Pinks & Blues Girls said...

Hi Christine,

It is so important to be aware of the human suffering going on around us. We can only hope that if we, ourselves, were in similar situations, others would step in and help. How wonderful that the high school students put on such a fabulous event for an important cause.

- Sharon, Pinks & Blues Girls

Chrissy121875 said...

Pete:
No, I don't think you're a "wanker"! HAHA! I haven't heard that expression in ages! Not everyone feels strongly about these things, and I am aware of that and wouldn't ever expect anyone to think the way I do :) The post was just my feelings on what is going on in Darfur and in other countries.

T:
Thanks, sweety! You're so kind!

Uncivil:
Thanks for the bloggy luvin'! Oh, and thanks for your kind words. That was really sweet.
PS. I bet even if you are introverted, as you say, that you've got a big heart of gold ;) I can tell because your pups all look happy, healthy and well taken care of! :)

Chrissy121875 said...

Jane:
Thank you :) You're so sweet! Yes, it was a great evening and a very eye-opening one for all of us. My student from South Korea learned a lot too. Oh, and the food was really good! SPICY!!!

Sharon:
I agree with you! So many times, people think only of what is happening in their immediate world and not of problems happening globally. I think it's so important that you mentioned "We can only hope that if we, ourselves, were in similar situations, others would step in and help." Perhaps saying it that way, it may give people a different perspective on things. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I always love seeing if you've left me a message in my comments!! :)

japanmanpete said...

Wot? At least I'm not as bad as Pete is! T, wots that supposed to mean? It's fine- I don't take anything personally ever.

Diesel said...

That's very cool that those kids care so much. Nice that they're talking about something important and not Britney Spears or whoever.

Curiosity.Killer said...

Wonderful stuff, Chrissy. Fund-raising...

And AFRICAN CUISINE? That's COOL!

Curiosity.Killer said...

And yeah, I have to agree with Diesel on that. You have great students. I think the Manitoulin does something good these kids.

Chrissy121875 said...

Thanks Diesel and CK!
CK, those students aren't mine. I've got the ESL students (one of them does attend Manitoulin Secondary School though)!

caninecologne said...

re: the African food

the bread you ate is called 'injera',which is unleavened. often made of teff ( a type of grain) or buckwheat. east african food (looks like the type that you ate) is meant to be eaten sans utensils. food is served on injera and you scoop up the food with the injera.

sorry to just comment on something as 'petty' as the food.

caninecologne said...

i didn't mean to be redundant about what you wrote about the bread...it does look like a tiny rolled up towel! : ) the ethiopian places i've been to are very quiet - no clinking sounds of metal utensils. it was quite interesting.

i agree with wanting to help out others, but sometimes i feel jaded about the world around me. it's hard enough trying to care about our immediate community. we're trying to teach our daughter to give what she doesn't need to those who need it more (her old clothes, toys, games or things she doesn't even use but are still new). when she gets a little older, we will do volunteer work as a family.

Karen MEG said...

It makes me feel a little better about the world knowing that there are some young people out there, like those high school students, who are so aware and wanting to make a difference in this world.

Oh, and for the special people like you and the DH who expose these issues to the blogsphere and your students; a very important post. Thanks.

Chrissy121875 said...

Canine:
I knew I could count on you to enlighten me on any type of cuisine! Thanks for that! The bread was really nice. It had a sort of spongy texture and the flavour was interesting. I can't really describe the flavour, but we enjoyed it.

Oh, I agree with you about feeling jaded sometimes. There are days when I get so bummed at all the crap we have to deal with like people trying to raise funds for charities that don't exist or us not knowing where exactly our donations are being given to. Just as the world is full of some pretty dodgy people, it is also full of people who actually do need help from others. It's hard to decide which causes we want to support/volunteer for/donate to/fundraise for. I try to do my homework when it comes to finding out what the money will be used for and just how much is going toward the cause and not just the administration, etc.

I think it's great that you guys will volunteer as a family when TC gets older :) Not all family's instill these values in their young, so I am really happy for those who do. I used to volunteer at a soup kitchen when I was a kid. We would feed the poor/homeless. It was a rewarding experience, but at the same time, it woke me up to the harsh reality of poverty.

It wasn't always fun. There were things I wish I had never seen. There were people who had lost everything and were so happy to have a hot meal. Then there were people who were struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction and were on the streets. There were also people who didn't want help in finding work or trying to get a better life for themselves. There's just so much more going on than what's on the surface. It was a kind of awakening for me as a kid.

Chrissy121875 said...

Karen:
Thanks :) I happened to marry someone who feels that it is our duty as human beings to serve each other and our community. I know that sounds so odd for people in our generation and time, when many of us are caught up in our own lives. I think it's hard to not focus on one's own immdediate problems and issues that are closer to home. In a way, I'm glad to know my Hubby is the type of person he is. It's one of the reasons I married him :)

Hubby thinks it's important to serve the community. I guess it goes back to the old adage that if you take care of the community, the community will take care of you. I, on the other hand, have a soft spot for those who need assistance and are unable to help themselves...like the people of Darfur, for example.

I agree with you about how comforting it is to know that there are teenagers out there who are compassionate, aware and wanting to make a difference...rather than just being concerned with only what new CD they need to buy or which new shoes they want to get. Don't get me wrong...I think that's great too. I just think it's special when young people are aware and care about something larger than just themselves.

We actually prefer to help out in the form of volunteering rather than monetary. There are many ways to support a cause. Hubby prefers to participate or work in an event. I like to know where my time and money is being allocated. When I lived in Montreal, I used to give this homeless guy money every morning on my way to my university. One day, instead of going into the coffee shop, I saw him go into the alcohol store. Then there was the time that I bought a homeless person a soup, sandwich and coffee, and he didn't want it. He wanted the money instead. It's things like that which really make me upset. Ah well.

pinks & blues girls said...

Just reading your comments here... your husband sounds like such a special man!!

- Audrey

Chrissy121875 said...

Thanks, Audrey!
Congrats again on your newest member of the family! Your little bambinos are all so cute! You look great too! Hope you're feeling as rested as you can be ;)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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