In the mid 1980s the world learned of a catastrophic famine in east Africa. It was centered in Ethiopia. In late 1984 the BBC ran a story showing tens of thousands of people in danger of starvation, and eventually the world responded with an outpouring of aid.
I had just completed college and was working as a journalist in New York. In response to the famine, I took a job with a relief and development agency and soon found myself in a far-off place called Alamata in northern Ethiopia.
My job was to report on the famine, to show the world what was happening so we all could respond in compassion and save people’s lives.
In the Alamata feeding center, thousands upon thousands of people flooded into the camp in late 1985 as they suffered from prolonged severe malnutrition. Although I went to the camp as a journalist, I quickly figured out that I was a relief worker first and put down my camera and notepad to help in any way I could.
Many people – Ethiopians and foreign aid workers – worked 12 or 14 hour per day to try to save “just one more life,” as the motto …