Child To Child

The Dadaab refuge camp in north-eastern Kenya is one of the largest refugee camps and has been home to some 400,000 refugees for the last 23 years. They come mainly from Somalia, people who have fled conflict, famine, and drought. The BBC reports  that under the auspices of Care International, the aid agency which provides many of the camps services, the children of Dadaab have written letters of hope to the children of Syrian refugees now in the Refugee Assistance Centre in Amman, Jordan.  As one would expect, they’re touching letters but also reveal the resilience of the children.” Don’t be hopeless, we are with you, and if there’s war in your country, tolerance is necessary,” writes Zahra Dahir Ali. “We are praying for you God gives you better life and with the help of God as soon as possible you will get peace in your country because we are feeling the same way you are feeling,” writes Abashir Hussein. “I am sure 100% that if you practice learning and struggling, you will excel at the end,” Hibo Mahamed Dubow writes, “Last but not least I tell you not to lose hope because you have been refugees for only three years. What do you think of people who are refugees for about two decades?”

Care International says the letters were well received. The young Syrians are now drafting responses.

Beyond Our Pets

Americans spent $55.7 billion on their pets last year—actually a %4.5 increase over the year before. While the figure includes spending on food and veterinarians, pet services such as grooming, training and boarding grew fastest, %6.1 , or $4.5 billion. And those items are expected to grow even more  this year. Still the largest expenditure was on food, $21.6 billion. Trade groups say that pet owners are looking for higher quality food for their animals. They add that food and veterinary expenses are  very much related to wanting improved health care for pets.

Since humans do have a responsibility to animals, it’s comforting that pets are well treated. Let’s hope that the love of animals this speaks to will translate to other animal causes such as the killing of elephants and rhinos for their tusks, animal smuggling, abandoned pets, horses and cattle suffering from drought in central California, animal abuse of all kinds…