Friday, May 13, 2005

STAND UP FOR AFRICA Targets Poverty And Suffering In Africa

Stand Up For Africa (SUFA), a London based, African-led organization states on its Home Web Page that it seeks to “work with the African Diaspora and friends of Africa around the globe to help eradicate poverty in Africa.”

Almost two years old now, SUFA is taking three approaches that it hopes will bring it closer to its goal.

It seeks to engage in Activism: and “work alongside campaigners across the world to Make Poverty History In Africa.”

SUFA takes on Development projects: to “work in partnership with community organisations in Africa to tackle child poverty.”

Its third approach is to foster Youth empowerment: and “involve and support young Diasporic Africans in activism and development on behalf of Africa.”

An independent organization, SUFA is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee in the UK.

SUFA has a sponsorship programme where they now sponsor ten children in Benin. The money from this program comes from donors who are currently giving up to £25 a month

In May of 2003, former model and OXFAM fundraiser, Elsie Nemlin was inspired to found Stand Up For Africa when she attended an OXFAM Fair Trade event and noticed that very few Africans were in attendance. Working on the premise that the best people to help Africa are Africans with the support of the worldwide friends of Africa, Ms. Nemlin brought SUFA into existence in August of 2003.

With one of her goals being the bringing of more attention to the fact that greater effort is needed on the part of the African Diaspora, Ms. Nemlin says: “Africans in the Diaspora are going to have to play a far bigger role than they have so far. It is a must that Diasporic Africans fully participate and engage in campaigning and development work on behalf of the continent if change is to take place.”

Ms. Nemlin says that more voices are needed to advocate change; and she believes that Africans and their friends can make a real difference in supporting and carrying through what the International (Western) Aid agencies have begun for Africa. For example, Ms. Nemlin points out that in the area of child slavery, "there are so many charities working in West Africa, but the problem of child slavery keeps getting worse."

She cites poverty as the root cause of the child slavery problem in West Africa, and poverty in Africa has become one of the main targets she wants to eliminate with the help of the African Diaspora and the friends of Africa.

In July 2004, SUFA published its First report on Child Slavery. That report can be downloaded in PDF format at:
http://www.standupforafrica.org.uk/files/pdfs/report1.pdf

Part 1 explores and defines the various forms that contemporary slavery takes.

Part 2 focuses on child slavery as it occurs in the whole of Africa; the extent of the problem, the countries affected, why it occurs in the first place, and its impact on children and the continent as a whole.

Part 3 looks at child slavery as it occurs in Benin. The section also details the various actions taken in Benin to address the problem.

Ms. Nemlin is also calling for activist tatics at the upcoming G8 conference that the UK will host in Scotland in July 2005. In her appeal for people to get involved, she says:
“The eight world leaders who have the power to make Africa’s poverty history will be in one room in July this year. But the G8 leaders must have the will to change things. And they won't have this will unless a massive movement of ordinary people like us urges them on. So please, join us to make it happen. Please, stand up with SUFA and let’s Make Poverty History in Africa.”

SUFA’s contact information is:
Tel: +44 (0) 207 228 7733
E-mail: admin@standupforafrica.org.uk
PO Box 46815, Battersea, London SW11 5SF

And its web site can be found at the following URL:
http://www.standupforafrica.org.uk/

SUFA says: “We support and create opportunities for all those who love Africa to help eradicate poverty and suffering across the continent.” So, if you love Africa, why not surf over to Stand Up For Africa’s web site and see what they are up to.

1 comment:

Elsie Nemlin said...

Stand Up For Africa is a relatively small organization (but one that is rapidly expanding) so we are always grateful when we receive publicity! We would therefore like to express our appreciation towards Oscar.H.Blayton for making Stand Up For Africa’s work known to a wider audience and writing such an informative article about us.

We are always keen to hear from other organisations that are working to help Africa and of course we are always in need of support/sponsers, so please visit our website and ‘stand up’ with us to help make real changes in Africa.