Sex trafficking.

November 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

My spiritual-wealth of a mom has lately been being tugged on by God to do something about human trafficking. This issue is just…well, it’s not an issue per se, like healthcare or taxes. It’s people. It’s a stench on the earth. It reminds me of the other day when I walked in the bathroom at school and had to walk right back out because someone hadn’t
flushed overnight. Gross? Yes. And mild compared to the obscenity being played out against little precious children right in our backyard. Under our noses.

Nicholas Kristof, a highly-regarded, agnostic columnist for the New York Times wrote this yesterday, highlighting one little girl who has undergone horrors that I think would probably kill me. She was raped an average of 20 times a night from the time she was 6 until she escaped at age 9.

Read it. And pray.

Famine in Somalia.

November 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Heard this segment today on Marketplace and more than ever it made me want to be on the frontier of the effort to diagnose, treat, and prevent famine. It isn’t about drought. It isn’t about distribution. Actually, as much as I love Kai Ryssdal, he’s wrong, too. This kind of horror doesn’t happen because of poor infrastructure. It happens, I think, because people are living out of their own resources. I’m living out of my own resources, saying there’s nothing I can do. Yes, there is. Not something I have, but something u can ask God for. I don’t even know what. But I do want to ask. I want to do something.

Famine in Somalia.

November 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

Heard this segment today on Marketplace and more than ever it made me want to be on the frontier of the effort to diagnose, treat, and prevent famine. It isn’t about drought. It isn’t about distribution. Actually, as much as I love Kai Ryssdal, he’s wrong, too. This kind of horror doesn’t happen because of poor infrastructure. It happens, I think, because people are living out of their own resources. I’m living out of my own resources, saying there’s nothing I can do. Yes, there is. Not something I have, but something u can ask God for. I don’t even know what. But I do want to ask. I want to do something.

Food security.

November 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am working on my thesis which deals with land rights and reform in Ethiopia.  Ethiopia has a long history of government-controlled land distribution which continues today.  The administration says that they want poor farmers to always have access to land, so they take it off the free market and distribute to those who make a living from the land.  At face value, this sounds good.  But there are several problems,including

  • diminishing availability of land as the population grows
  • lack of incentive for farm households to work off-farm (resulting in a sluggish economy and stagnant rural development)
  • disempowerment of women
  • cash-poor farmers without resources to invest in technology, seeds, fertilizers, etc.

There’s been quite a bit of research around if Ethiopian land tenure policies result in poor agricultural productivity, and there doesn’t seem to be much evidence to support that.  However, something I’ve been exploring lately has been if these policies play a role in the eight famines that have ravaged Ethiopia in the last 26 years (my lifetime).  Food insecurity is a major concern in this nation, where 82 percent of the population live on less than a dollar a day.

My advisor is hesitant to let me pursue this, because he doesn’t think I’ll be able to quantify “food security” with empirical data.  So I’m looking into that.  I’m hoping that I can extract some data from an extremely in-depth Ethiopian household survey the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has conducted over a period of years.  I’d like to see how farmers are feeding they’re families.  My suspicion is that they are barely getting by.

And I’ve been wondering: how do you quantify food security?  The U.N. has several different definitions of food security, such as access to enough dietary sources of energy, a high percentage of normal-weight children, and availability of and access to enough food to lead healthy, productive lives.  Is that all?  I’m not sure.  I’m hoping the path will become more clear as I walk.

Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for November, 2011 at bekah running.

%d bloggers like this: