Posts Tagged ‘CNN’

Help Haiti!

I’m going to assume that if you’re connected to the internet and reading this post, that you have probably already learned about the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that took place in Haiti yesterday. Sadly, it is suspected that nearly 100,000 perished in the quake while the prime minister mentioned that the death toll may be even higher. The country is in desperate need of hospitals, medicine and doctors to assist with the crisis at present.

Read the whole story here.

With all of this happening to our fellow human beings in Haiti, this is, indeed, a time to step up and help people in need. Courtesy of MSNBC, here is a list of charitable organizations that are active in the nation that you can help:

Action Against Hunger, 877-777-1420
American Red Cross, 800-733-2767
Beyond Borders, 866-424-8403
Direct Relief International, 805-964-4767
Doctors Without Borders, 888-392-0392
Haiti Children, 877-424-8454
Haiti Marycare, 203-675-4770
Haitian Health Foundation, 860-886-4357
Hope for Haiti, 239-434-7183
International Relief Teams, 619-284-7979
Mercy Corps, 888-256-1900
Oxfam, 800-776-9326
Rural Haiti Project, 347-405-5552
World Concern, 800-755-5022
Yele Haiti, 212-352-0552

Also, click here for some information from CNN on how you can Impact Your World.

Let’s make a difference!

Lots of love and prayers going out to the families that have been affected by this tragedy,


More Moyo for Moi.

I just finished reading  a newly published book entitled Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is Another Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian native. Born and raised in Zambia, she has worked for Goldman Sachs and at the World Bank as a consultant. She obtained her Masters from Harvard and her PhD in Economics at Oxford and, all in all has some amazing, eye-opening (albeit controversial) views on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of aid in Africa. The foreword, which was written by Niall Ferguson, problematizes the idea of the public debate on Africa’s economic problems being conducted by ‘non-African white men’ (Jeffrey Sachs, William Easterly, Paul Collier, etc.) and ‘rock stars’ like Bono and Bob Geldof. It follows that having a book of this magnitude written by an African woman makes it that much more salient. I found the text so eye-opening, in fact, that I’ve been flirting with the area of aid dependency as a dissertation topic; it is an area that I find incredibly interesting and somewhat controversial. Four books currently gracing my desk? The White Man’s Burden (Easterly 2006), Organizing US Foreign Aid (Lancaster 2005), Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics (Lancaster 2007) and Aid to Africa (Lancaster 1999).

Though I have always been a self-diagnosed proponent of the ‘pro-aid model,’ I have found myself delving into loads of literature that has changed my point of view (the flexibility of one’s mind is one of the things I love about being a grad student). Moyo is one of many academics/economists/intellectual forces that has criticized aid, and the reasons that she brings to the forefront are hardly unsubstantiated. In fact, it would seem that if most people were given the facts on aid in the way that she presents them, very few people would be proponents of doling out the huge amount of systematic aid that we do. She suggests that Africa has not only not been able to development due to large aid inflows, but it continues to flounder in a state of poverty because of aid. Due to the corrupt nature of government, bilateral and multilateral funding is easily stolen/misused by those in power. Additionally, due to the fact that elites end up with access to aid, people are that much more compelled to fight for powerful positions, further engendering violence and hostility. Regardless of your stance on aid, I highly recommend picking it up. It’s a relatively easy read and it has a lot of great information.

One of my coursemates sent me a video of this debate between Dambisa Moyo and Alison Evans, the head of the ODI. It’s 22 minutes long, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Also, if you want more Moyo, here’s a shorter clip (under 10 minutes) from a CNN segment.

Now I’m off to read some Easterly — I’ll let you know if my views change (yet again)!

Happy learning!


I find myself inspired by the most ordinary of things.

The way that coffee comes to sit in my cup after traveling a long road from a farmer and a plant in Central America (or South America, or Africa, etc., etc.) The way that colorful pumps manage to totally invigorate an otherwise mundane outfit. The way that I can actually see the leaves on trees when I have my glasses on. The way in which a well-written text (or textbook, for that matter) can ignite previously undiscovered thoughts. The way that our minds really have power over matter.


Today, however, my inspiration comes in the form of a well-known e-auction house: eBay. Pierre Omidyar is a true luminary. In a time when our now-everyday technology was relatively new to the masses, he brought us an amazingly innovative way to shop. Although I have used eBay since its inception, it is in recent times that I have really discovered how powerful it truly is. I recently purchased my iphone off of eBay and could not be happier — not only did I save money on the phone, but I managed to purchase an unlocked version for use in the UK. Also, since eBay does us the service of “rating” sellers and buyers for us, I was confident in sending $200 through cyberspace (via PayPal) to a person that I had never met. As per usual, my order arrived on my doorstep within 5-7 business days: convenient and efficient. I didn’t even have to leave my desk! Yesterday I also purchased a cover for my newly acquired iPhone. $6 for two hard covers (white & black) with free shipping. Voila!

Although I harness the power of technology on a daily basis, every so often I have to take a look around and appreciate the efficiency that computers, the internet and technological advancements have borne. What would we/could we do without the internet? Without email? Without search engines and Wikipedia to help with our last-minute research endeavors? Without e-Trade for our stocks and without CNN and E! Online for our daily news? How could we live without social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Can you imagine having to send in paper applications to apply at a university or having to send actual mail (with stamps!) to communicate with people across the world? How ever would we survive?!

Thank God (& tech whizzes around the world) for technology — what would we do without you?

Signature Stamp - Shannon