How can we live in a world that is divided instead of united where the rich gets richer and the poor stays poor and suffer? How can we live in a world where hunger occurs and children and adults go to bedon empty stomachs? Today our focus was on hunger, well being, and health and majority of the people in who live in the informal settlement of Diepsloot in South Africa do not enjoy good health and are often without food ad hungry. My J.F.C group and I traveled to extension 4 in Diepsloot where the air smelled like sewage and the ground was filled with a tremendous amount of garbage. You could see kids running around bare foot, really hungry and skinny dogs, and people on the side of the road side looking very desperate. Many of the kid in Diepsloot don’t have good health and are sick due to the lack of essential nutrients found in food so their growth is stunted. Some kids look as if they are a 14 year old person trapped in an 8 year old body. I saw a lot of this and I thought to myself how can I help them because if their growth is stunted then there could be a possibility that their brains were stunted too which would affect the way they learn. And, of course, if they cannot properly learn, they will be unable to graduate from secondary school and live a flourishing like instead of one of poverty. One factor that contributes to good health and the prevention of stunted growth and any other sicknesses is the no hunger policy. Our minds are like cars as it takes gasoline to get the car moving but it takes food to get humans working and keeping them bright, energetic and effective. On average about 26% or more kids go to bed hungry and end up going to school hungry. Let us make the difference and turn it around because no one should have to experience hunger and bad health.
For the past two days I have seen things in Diepsloot and in other places in South Africa that have been sickening to me. I’ve also observed situations in South Africa that have changed me and shaped me into the person I am today or at least right now in very little time atall. Driving around South Africa, I saw poverty on a whole other level. I feel like people are crying out in desperation but their voices aren’t being heard. It’s like the government is taking all of the money and investing it incorrectly because the poorest households in South Africa live on (US) $1.90 a day. Sometimes children go to bed hungry and I have been told is that all the parents and/or grandparents can do is cry and pray for a miracle. The question is: Is this fair? Should innocent children pay for the damage that was caused by the people before them? Should poor children pay because the world is unfair and there is extreme inequalities in income? There are children in Diepsloot and other parts of Africa who are so poor that they are hungry, run around without clothing and shoes, it is not sanitary for them go out, and it is unsafe due to violence. Innocent children who are poor are denied the basic rights to an equal education which is the key to ending poverty. Due to this, some of them, especially girls in the townships turn to illegal activities or older men to keep them occupied and bring in a source of income. So ask yourself is this fair? Is it fair that by the age of twelve your life is basically over and by the age of fifteen you are bearing a child? Is it fair that we take life for granted in the United States while the children in South Africa are praying every night to see another meal and make it to school safely? Driving around South Africa has made me think a lot and contemplate how we the youth can do something about these situations by putting action behind our words. HIV/AIDS is also devastating this country and people are dying and children are being orphaned. We live in a world that is uniquely unfair, but no man, woman or child should suffer the way the people in Diepsloot suffer. God created us equal so why is there so much inequality?
Across South Africa people today are celebrating Mandela day. This is not the typical celebration that the United States would have because the people here in South Africa do community service work as their celebration on this day. In South Africa they take out 67 minutes of their time to help someone other than themselves and this became a tradition because Mandela served 67 years of his life serving South Africa and the world. Mandela Day is important because he sacrificed so much to help make the country what it is today. It’s because of him that apartheid ended and it’s also because of him why South Africa is on the breakthrough of becoming equal. This is why people today celebrate Mandela Day. To the people in South Africa, Mandela meant everything to them but not only to them but around the world. He was loved so much because he paved the way so that a new generation wouldn’t have to face what he went through. As a result and because of his hard work people strive to help others to honor what he’s done.