In the lead up to her morning tea with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, World Vision Mum Blogger, Eden Riley ponders how much time she will have to chat, topics of conversation, what she will wear and a gift to take.*
Funding for the West Africa Food Crisis is on her list of things she would like to discuss with Prime Minister Gillard, and how proud she is that Australians care about other people doing it tough.
The influential Australian blogger saw the effects of the drought and food crisis first hand in Niger when she travelled with a multi-national group of mum-bloggers in April. Eden spent time with Nigerien mothers in drought-affected communities, and visited feeding centres for malnourished children, seeing how the most vulnerable were being helped. She also saw how World Vision water projects and training have created ‘pockets of green heaven’ in the desert with communal vegetable gardens, allowing people greater resilience amongst such adversity.
“I wish I could tell Julia how proud I felt back in April when I stood at wells pumping clean water for the first time, in remote West African villages. Proud because in some places, ENTIRE infrastructure was made possible by Australians who donated. Us Aussies are a caring bunch,” says Eden on her blog last night.
World Vision is supporting communities in Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Senegal with immediate lifesaving help, such as feeding programmes for acutely malnourished children, the delivery of food aid and replenishing village granaries.
A long-time child sponsor, Eden, a mother of two boys saw how supporting a child and their community long-term can also build resilience and provide a buffer in times of hardship, when droughts occur more frequently, when locusts attack crops, and when food prices soar. World Vision’s long-term solutions in the West Africa context include activities such as drilling boreholes, helping families establish vegetable gardens and creating and strengthening community seed banks.
“Eden’s very personal style of blogging was central to bringing the online community on the journey to witness the effects of this food crisis on children and their families. Eden has opened the window, to show what is happening in West Africa, and also shown that there is hope, that by banding together, we can change things for the better,” said Joy Toose, Social Media Manager.
“You have the power to persuade your local newspaper, radio station, or TV channel to give the crisis the attention it deserves. If you see news about West Africa, share it on social media and tweet or email the news outlet to let them know you care about this issue, and you want to hear more,” continued Toose.
*Eden bought Prime Minister Gillard a bag of seeds from World Vision’s Gift Catalogue and she will wear her red cowboy boots.
Eden’s blog can be viewed at www.edenriley.com and her twitter handle is @edenland.
Donate to the West Africa Food Crisis Appeal or call 13 32 40. Consider sponsoring a child.
Sponsorship makes a difference. Children who live in communities where sponsorship is present have their nutritional status, height, weight and school attendance measured so that as soon as it looks like they are threatened World Vision can begin intervening, with donor support, to make sure children do not suffer the worst effects of the drought and food crisis.