The chivalry of another summer

Welcome to August, month that, in the Northern hemisphere, equates to summer, beauties, sometimes frivolous and lighter thoughts. I attended the Vancouver Pride parade this past weekend, and loved the buoyant effervescence around diversities, respect for differences and graceful reminder around those who use(d) their life to fight for and defend basic Human Rights. Saying it was colourful is an understatement, and celebrating Life this way is fairly engaging. Witnessing the security crew with constant smiles on their faces was reassuring too.

Now, I would rather stay away from casting a cloud over this joyful picture, yet the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa is another cause dear to my heart, and remaining silent simply does not cut it. Sure, there are plenty of “situations” to mention, donate to, think of, volunteer for or spend energy on. Crises are everywhere, and perspectives on them may lead to a basic general disinterest, especially when the topic seems recurrent. Our planet is not going to stop rotating, we all know that. So why bother? Famine may be striking in spots of Southern Somalia, the local climate is not helping eradicate it.

Political issues are undoubtedly present, and making the logistical aid programs a strenuous challenge to tackle. Emergency management is threatened by commitment and control issues, whether it is with the international community or the rebels themselves. Longer and longer supply chain now tries to reach a list of understandably moving points of delivery, defying the most solid logistical plans in the region. Refugees are fleeing drought-stricken areas, escaping from an induced war.

The procurement of food, and its delivery to the refugees, is suffering from some heavy red tape, within Somalia where political instability has been shaking the population since 1991.

So, where is chivalry in all this, you may ask? From my little (and quite comfortable) corner of the world, granting it is a combination of virtues and qualities that inspire its followers, I encourage anybody to act in a chivalrous way, take initiative and inspire others to contribute and support an organisation working on any solution suitable for the Somalis. I was born white and in a developed country, and I have no idea whether this background allows me to get my suggestions to be listened to. The situation is rather complex, likely making any plausible tactic to reach Dadaab, Kenya or Dollo Ado, Ethiopia ridicule and futile. Yet I want to believe that We, as Human Beings, can do something and contribute to the better of people in dire need of help. Debates on humanitarian work are endless and healthy (Paul Theroux’s viewpoints were already legitimate in the 1960’s), children in Somalia, Bangladesh or Haiti are not.

Travis Pastrana might have crashed at the X Games this weekend, he is not giving up. Progress and passion for life tend to do that to the psyche: I am confident giving up on Somalia is out of the question, and colourful life celebrations can happen there too.