A story I’m not proud of

When I first started at IMC, I was senior desk officer for East Africa and the Middle East. I had a solid Middle East background, but I had to do a lot of reading on East Africa. I’d been there a few weeks and was starting to realize I’d somehow become an aid worker and I loved it.

I was reading an article about a young mother in Mogadishu. She had a baby and wouldn’t leave her house during the fighting (this was the 2006 fighting, FYI). Finally she ran out of all food and had to leave the house. She took her 3-month old baby with her. She was killed in the cross-fire and NGO workers found her baby frantically trying to nuzzle at his mother’s dead breast.

My son was three months old when I read that. I was a breast-feeding mother. I sat at my desk and cried, for quite a while. And then I thought, “If I had a picture of that, I could fundraise a million dollars, easy.”

Your work saves lives. You can’t do the work without money. It’s very, very hard to keep chasing the money you need to do good, and stay good yourself.

I don’t want to be Kevin Carter.

(image credit: Fiore S. Barbato)
Chosen because I am still too human to be able to search flickr for dead children