Show your support


In my last column, I discussed the famine in South Sudan and how nearly 50 per cent of the population is at risk of being food insecure.

In the time between when I wrote that column and as I sit down to write this one, the United Nations announced that the world is facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the UN formed in 1945.

Along with South Sudan, millions of people in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, and Kenya are currently facing or experiencing famine.

In my last column, I gave tips on how students can show support for those who are suffering overseas, including advocating for increased government funding for international assistance and development.

Although it’s important to know how to help, it’s equally important to know why you should help.

For some, the knowledge that people are suffering can be enough for them to want to help. But sometimes, when money is tight and time is running thin, it’s hard to understand why we should take the time to learn about things happening across the world from us, never mind giving up some of our hard-earned money to donate.

Yet supporting international aid doesn’t just support those who are suffering overseas.

Donor nations can also benefit from providing support to developing countries. It can help increase their global reputation among other nations, increase the global economy, and help stabilize countries to lower the number of people seeking refuge.

In a recent column published March 2 in The Guardian, David Cameron, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, writes, “If we don’t tackle poverty abroad, the results are visited upon us at home.”

“Mass migration, epidemics such as Ebola, climate change and pollution: none of these things respect national borders.”

This isn’t the time to turn our backs and pretend we aren’t affected by famines or conflict overseas.

As students, we may not have much to give in the form of donations right now, but the least we can do is learn about what’s happening overseas and understand why money should be budgeted to help support those in need.


Shaylyn McMahon is an aspiring communications professional,

an avid coffee drinker and a wannabe world explorer.

She’d rather be cuddling her cat at any given moment,

and if you can’t see her, you can probably hear her laugh.

Follow her on Twitter @ShaylynMcMahon.