The largest humanitarian crisis in the world today is happening in the Horn of Africa, where more than 13 million people are suffering from a deadly famine caused by decades of conflict, instability and the worst drought the region has seen in 60 years.
The devastation has spread across four countries, ravaging farmlands, displacing families and killing tens of thousands in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. Conditions in southern Somalia are reported to be especially severe. There, emergency assistance continues to be limited or denied, even as many families are forced to walk more than one hundred miles in search of their next meal and children are dying hourly from malnutrition and starvation.
Shockingly, only a fraction of the American public recognizes the urgency of the situation, and according to a recent national survey released by the Ad Council, 52 percent of us aren’t even aware that this catastrophe is occurring at all. In response to these statistics, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Ad Council have launched FWD, a major multimedia and public awareness campaign that aims to connect people to the East Africa relief efforts in new and creative ways. FWD, as you might have wondered, stands for famine, war and drought. It represents a call to action to “FWD” the facts about the crisis and spark a community-wide dialogue about how to respond.
GOOD is heeding this call by teaming up with USAID and the Ad Council to offer the next challenge on GOOD Maker, our new collaborative platform connecting fresh ideas with the funds needed to make good happen. We’re asking you to tell us how you would use $5,000 to help raise awareness for the Horn of Africa crisis in your community, whether by hosting a local event or starting your own grassroots campaign. Participate in the challenge by submitting a proposal here between now and November 28. We’ll review each entry, and from November 28 to December 12, the public will vote on which idea would have the most impact. GOOD will award the winner $5,000 to implement the plan locally, and the top-voted submission will be featured in digital and social media channels by USAID and the Ad Council.