Dan Camilleri, James Camilleri, Mark Dawes and Luke Wigley all love good video games - but it's easy to like good video games. To support the UNHCR with their efforts combating the drought and famine being suffered by people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti these four guys are playing the worst games they can find in order to raise money to help.
Us gamers have got it pretty good when you think about it. We can have a good session of Gears sitting on our couches, playing our shiny expensive consoles on our shiny expensive TV's, only stopping to get a drink or something to eat before jumping back in front of the screen to keep on playing, all without even really thinking about how lucky we really are to have these seemingly simple comforts.
In East Africa however, the situation is about as bad as it can possibly get as they are in the middle of the worst drought in 60 years. Sure, in Australia we're no strangers to drought, but the situation in East Africa has reached the point of being the worst food security crisis in the world today. Drought, famine & conflict are plaguing Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti with 12.4 million people, more than half the Australian population, being affected by the devastating crisis, including over 4.14 million children. Because of this, two major emergencies are developing in the region – one in over crowded camps for Somali refugees and another in the drought affected villages where lack of water, failed crops and dying livestock has resulted in a lack on food.
Unprecedented levels of malnutrition are noted among new arrivals to the refugee camps with families telling Foreign Aid teams horrific stories of young children dying of starvation and exhaustion on their journey to reach safety. Tragically, many children arriving in the camp are severely malnourished and despite receiving immediate emergency care and therapeutic feeding, they often die within 24 hours.
It may seem like we're a world away from the crisis in Africa, but that doesn't mean we can't do something to help, and that's what we're trying to do. If we can motivate as many gamers, as well as friends, family, co-workers and anyone else a gamer may have contact with to donate to this cause, then together we can hopefully make a much bigger difference than we ever hoped to make on our own.
For more info on how to support these guys head to their website here, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook. They plan to livestream the whole event through their website kicking off on September 17.
It's a great idea, and a great cause. Kudos to these guys for seriously trying to make a difference.