Required Reading

Reading time: 2 mins

From Joi Ito: Dare We Call It Genocide?

“Zahra Abdel Karim, a 30-year-old woman, told me how in the same attack on Ab-Layha, the Janjaweed shot to death her husband, Adam, and 7-year-old son, Rahshid, as well as three of her brothers. Then they grabbed her 4-year-old son, Rasheed, from her arms and cut his throat.”

It’s horrifying to think that, while we sit at home in our comfortable homes, relatively safe and happy, this kind of thing is happening.

When I did last year’s Blogathon, I chose Amnesty International as my charity for precisely this reason. I don’t think about these things much. I am aware that a lot of bad things happen in the world, I am aware that our country should be backing the UN and taking action where it can. I am aware that all of this is more important than, say, the fact the local shop didn’t have the Independent this morning.

But all too quickly I put this to the back of my mind and get on with my day. What difference can I make after all? Sure I can donate money, regularly perhaps, but I just don’t have the time required to dedicate… no hang on, don’t I mean I don’t have the desire or motivation to help out more? What is stopping me? I’m young, successful and intelligent, surely there is something I can do, anything?

But who do I sign up with? There are many different human rights organisations, and while Amnesty is the best known, would it be more effective of me if I joined a specific group, targetting something I feel very passionately about?

Or will I, again, decide that as I do donate to charity that I am already doing my bit, and leave it at that? Is that enough? Will that help me choke down guilt along with my Cornflakes whilst watching the morning news?