Sunday, June 05, 2005

African Philanthropists

The best kept secret in the Australian society today is the emergence of a new generation of African philanthropists. They are ordinary men and women from all walks of life who show a great deal of love for humanity; performing charitable actions; donating money to those in need; including friends and relatives back home in Africa.

Quite clearly, the young migrants and refugees are showing the world that they are no pushover in the charity stakes, as they settle into their new life in Australia. The emphasis is on care and support for the less privileged members of society.

The Liberian refugees are sponsoring other Liberians to come to Australia, for a better life. And the good deeds of those from Sierra Leone, Somalia, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa are not far behind. With love of humanity deeply embedded in their hearts, they believe, they can build a better world. Their philanthropic activities are increasing by the day.

More importantly, the “lost boys” of the Sudan are now adapting to change in the land Down Under and are selflessly supporting other “lost boys and girls”; paying their airfares to Australia, as well as providing moral and financial support during the early days of arrival. These notable achievements are the works of the new and emerging African philanthropists of our time. It is the case of the poor helping the poor to a better life!

Nevertheless, there are limits to this type of philanthropy, as over-crowding becomes a major problem, due to the shortage of affordable housing stock. In fact, there are cases of homelessness and despair, of 17 people living in a three-bedroom home in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide in South Australia. But this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Yet, as far as the African philanthropists are concerned, the existence of homeless refugees hidden in jam-packed houses has added new momentum to the movement; encouraging more acts of charity and generosity in the emerging African communities in Australia.

Thus, in the city of light, my eyes have seen clear evidence of African humanism at work and unbelievable acts of generosity by African-Australians.

Having witnessed the ravages of war, famine, and deprivation in their homeland in recent years, the idealistic new generation of African philanthropists are creating alternative visions of the future, based on inherent desire to help those in need. They dream of a peaceful world; always seeing the big picture!

Quite frankly though, sharing your money or material possessions with people around you is a prospect that may chill the spine of many a capitalist. But the visionary new generation of African philanthropists do seem to have a perfect understanding of the human condition. For their world is a world of generosity, of give and take; of live and let live!

Their celebration of life and the human spirit have done a great deal to lighten the burden and ease the pain of transition.
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