Last night 35 million american adults probably learnt more from stories told by African children than they usually do from a year of watching television. In global media terms, this was a tipping point. As Bono may have said the worlds of American Gloss and African Child's realities collided... never to be as they were
HOW DO THE GRASSROOTS GET CONNECTING WITH THIS NEW WORLD
It is important, I believe, that we catalogue stories as if the average adult in America or indeed many rich nations knows nothing about the everyday challenges that many African Children face
Can you help me make a general top 6 list which can then get more specific. Here's the level of understanding or misunderstanding needed to retrain American adults.
1 In many African countries, 10% of children will die before the age of 5, primary challenges malaria and diarrhoea
2 Both clean water and food are sufficiently scarce that up to another 10% of children are physically or mentally damaged by these lacks
3 Tens of millions of African children now have no parents, mainly wiped out by Aids. They live either with poor and elderly grandparents or in some cases on their own
4 Many African children have no access to schools. Others are forced to leave school and start work, sometimes from as early as 9. Such work is usually as a beast of burden (carrying wood or water all day) or as a domestic in cities. Domestic girls are
sometimes sexually abused
5 Every decade civil wars and genocide seems to ravage a different group of African countries- currently Darfur in Sudan , Somalia , Zimbabwe . This also causes huge refugee movements that can disturb the fragile stability of neighbours.
6 Energy and environments are problems. Many places have had natural resources including trees decimated by previous generations. Many households have no light or energy.
Please edit what I have got wrong or left out - with apologies for my ignorance. Once we have the stories right the question becomes does anyine in Africa want to become the main inbox if serious people want to find out
more about a particular story.
I am slowly trying to work out what a gallery of such African Intelligence heroes might look like but will need a lot of communal re-editing -again apologies for errors I commit until you correct me
I know quite a lot about childrens challenges in Asia; very little about Africa; more than almost anyone on how media awareness plays very odd tricks which I have written up in 2 books the crisis of world brands in 1990 and 1996 Brand Chartering; pass the mail on if anyone wants to debate mass media's tipping point
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