The reality in Africa is as painful as the thickest darkness, with people and children who are dying every day because of lack of food, water and basic medicine. We can’t go on with our lives and pretend they don’t exist, because they do. And we can’t be just a witness either, their souls will hold us accountable one day…
Photojournalist Kevin Carter was just that – a witness – when he worked in South Africa and Sudan in the early ‘90s. Carter took the now-legendary photograph of a starving girl collapsed on the ground as a vulture stands poised behind her. He later said that after he took the photo, he chased the bird off and watched the girl struggle. Time reported that Carter then “sat under a tree, lit a cigarette, talked to God and cried.” In 1994, the photo won the Pulitzer Prize. Later that year, Carter committed suicide.
Africa is the world’s second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. Although it has abundant natural resources, Africa remains the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent, due to a variety of causes that may include the spread of deadly diseases and viruses (notably HIV/AIDS and malaria), corrupt governments that have often committed serious human rights violations, failed central planning, and high levels of illiteracy. Also, civil war, poverty, malnutrition and poor health, affect a large proportion of the people who reside in the African continent.
Africa is synonymous with illiteracy and deadly diseases. In August 2010, the World Bank, announced global poverty estimates based on a new international poverty line of $1.25 per day; that is approximately $37.5 month or $450.00 per year. Most of Sub-Saharan Africa is in the World Bank’s lowest income category. Ethiopia and Burundi are the worst off with just $90 GNI per person. Even middle income countries like Gabon and Botswana have sizeable sections of the population living in poverty.
WHY KISUMU, KENYA
Kisumu is a port city situated on the shores of Lake Victoria in Eastern Africa. With over 500,000 people, it is the third largest city in Kenya, and serves as the capitol of the Nyanza province. Kisumu is by far Kenyan’s poorest major city. Over 50% of its population lives below the food poverty line, compared with Nairobi’s 8% and Mombasa’s 39%. Despite its abundant natural resources, historical factors such as government corruption, social and ethnic conflict, and an abused ecosystem have caused the Kenyan people to suffer a great deal / have all led to an unacceptable humanitarian crisis. Nearly 25% of the population is HIV positive.