Last week on Christian Aid's Count Your Blessings was the week of Justice. Today we move into a week of Transformation.
82% of the British Population are now Internet users compared with only 0.2% of the population of Mali.
I have to admit to knowing next to nothing about Mali so I've done some research, for a start here is the country's location on a map
|Source: World Vision|
Population: 12 million
Life expectancy: 53.7 years
Access to clean water: 60%
Adult literacy: 22.9%
Under five mortality: 218 per 1,000 live births
Languages: French and Bambara
Main religion: Muslim
Mali is the biggest country in West Africa. The northern part of the country is covered by the Sahara desert, the southern area is hilly savannah. Mali is very hot and dry from February to June; rainy, humid, and mild from June to November; and cool and dry from November to February. Mali is heavily dependent on foreign aid and vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices for cotton, its main export, along with gold.
My initial reaction to less than 1% of a country's population being online was shock, it never occurred to me that there would be countries with such immense proportions of poverty. And I am not altogether naive, I am well aware of the state of Africa and poverty. Sometimes we need to hear the statistics to really appreciate the needs of others. I'm glad to have heard them today. I hope you are too.
The question is then, what can we do?
Christian Aid are asking us to give 50p for every hour of leisure time you will spend on the Internet today. I will spend at least 4 hours on the Internet today. The majority of this time will be related to my ministry in some way because my life is my ministry, but it'll also be a lot of fun, I enjoy my work. So I commit to donating £2.00 today.