Faith communities have always been among the first responders to humanitarian crisis and the crisis in the Horn of Africa has been no different. The faith community was quick to pull together resources to inspire their congregations and members to act and save lives. USAID’s Office of Faith Based Initiatives has been actively reaching out to faith communities to ensure they have the most up to date information about the crisis and the tools they need to educate others.
The faith community has responded to the crisis with powerful tools. Here is one example of what a community of faith is doing to bring attention to the crisis.
On October 12 the Jewish community begins a weeklong celebration of the holiday Sukkot. During this holiday the Jewish people remember their own 40-year exodus through the Egyptian desert. People of the Jewish faith build temporary huts and many eat and sleep in the hut as to not forget their ancestor’s journey to freedom. Likewise today more than 700,000 Somalis have walked up to 100 miles to escape famine, war, and drought. They are walking to survive. The ONE Campaign developed a Sukkot Guide to the Famine (pdf, 317KB), which includes discussion questions about the famine and Sukkot, suggested youth/synagogue programs, prayers and actions.
We invite faith communities to send us stories, pictures, and videos of how they’re making a difference. Stay tuned for more examples of how the faith community is getting involved. Email us at FWD@usaid.gov.