While I was taking a Spanish class this summer at my local JC, an advocate for an organization called Hands for Africa stopped me. Usually, I shrug these people off; I’m in a hurry, I’m sure someone else will stop and listen to them, they probably just want my money, I can’t really make a difference anyways – so I continue hurrying to somewhere that probably is of no immediate importance or need.Something in me decided to hear this guy out. I wasn’t in any particular rush and I had recently learned about blood diamonds in the first semester of my freshman year at college, but I had no clue about getting involved in helping this issue. After hearing him out and learning even more then what the surface issue of blood diamonds represents.
To give y’all some background and reasons why this organization matters:
First I’ll start with why the organization got started. Hands for Africa was borne out of the aftermath of the Blood Diamond industry in Sierra Leone. Due to the devastation that struck Sierra Leone. Guerilla warfare, children orphaned due to murders, corruption, and despair. Hands For Africa restores lost hope for those devastated, amputated, and displaced by the civil wars in Africa. They support the development and implementation of self-reliance programs and to provide aid necessary for the advancement of the self-reliance programs.
Next, I’ll explain what these blood diamonds are. Basically, they’re diamonds that originate from war zones and end up being traded on the black market to fund rebel fighters and insurgencies. They’re traded on the black market in order to fun wars. Women and children are not spared from foresting of these gems. Often times gatherers end up amputees at best. Conditions for the “harvesting” are described as being inhumane, rampant with disease, violence and starvation.
Despite the tragedy surrounding these seemingly flawless gems, there are ways to help! You can screen your diamonds-should you choose to purchase them. Other ways to help are hosting a fundraiser at your home, church, university/college, church, community drive etc. Hands for Africa will provide informational tools to aid in making your hosted fundraiser a success. To host a Hands for Africa fundraiser, click here! Aside from cash donations, time is also greatly appreciated! Hands for Africa has many different activities throughout the year benefiting African victims of civil war; from fun draising events, collaborating with churches, universities, African travel missions etc.
Hands for Africa is always looking for volunteers that truly want to make a difference in the world by helping these victims and their families change their lives for the better. Click here if you wish to volunteer your time and service to Hands for Africa. Megan Emme is the New Media Coordinator at Mobilize.org and runs their blogging program, The Millennial Report. Megan is a Junior at San Francisco State University and also works as the SF Regional Coordinator for the Revolution Hunger Campaign. She hopes to pursue a career empowering young people to advocate for themselves as well as make a difference in their communities.
Megan Emme is the New Media Coordinator at Mobilize.org and runs their blogging program, The Millennial Report. Megan is a Junior at San Francisco State University and also works as the SF Regional Coordinator for the Revolution Hunger Campaign. She hopes to pursue a career empowering young people to advocate for themselves as well as make a difference in their communities.