I came into work this morning and walked past the NYT like I do everyday. And like everyday I catch a glimpse at the front page and of the headlining story & photograph. Today the headline and picture had me searching for more. Below is the front page and the caption follows:
"Suffering Great and Small: An 11-month-old boy with broken legs found shelter in a church in Harare, Zimbabwe. His mother said youths with the governing party shattered his legs while trying to make her disclose the whereabouts of her husband, an opposition supporter."
The NYTimes article "Zimbabweans Make Plea for Help as Runoff Nears" talks about the recent Zimbabwe situation and the rigged election - the one making headline news, in turn moving people to look again at the corruption, inflation, malnourishment, and the AIDS epidemic that has inflicted the nation. The images and stories being released are heart-breaking. Below is a section from the today's front page:
"All over the country, destitute people have fled the violence, and are now looking for food, shelter, protection and medical care.
One woman at a church in Harare held her 11-month-old baby, who had casts on his tiny legs. She said that after her husband, an opposition organizer, went into hiding she had gotten word that ZANU-PF supporters were looking for her, too. She fled with the boy.
She returned home the next day, though, and that is when “the youth,” as foot soldiers of the ruling party are often called, came looking for her, she said. They snatched her son from the bed and hurled him onto the concrete floor, shattering his legs, she said.
Afterward, she was too terrified to move. But that night, when all was quiet, she set out for the opposition headquarters, Harvest House, to seek help there. She was able to carry only her distraught child, and the 12-mile walk took most of the night."
I believe in the power of awareness. The internet is a great way to get involved - increasing your awareness of situations like that in Zimbabwe. Talk about what you know or think with other people - friends, family, through blogging, post your blog on social networks. You don't have to know the answers, just know what's going on and then go from there.