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Students raising money for famine-stricken Africa

Students raising money for famine-stricken Africa.

By Tanner Kent, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 9/24/2011]

Drought and famine are gripping the eastern region of Africa, and a group of Minnesota State Mankato students wants to help.

Children are dying by the thousands. Crops are withered or dead, and the cattle — on which many families in the region subsist — are dying in droves.

“Things are going to get worse,” said Mohamed Alammari, who president of Minnesota State Mankato's Muslim Student Association and among the organizers of an effort to raise money for relief.

“We can’t solve the whole thing, but at least we can contribute. I wouldn’t be able to bear the feelings of guilt if I didn’t do something.”

Imad Mohamed, a fellow organizer and Minnesota State Mankato graduate student, said most Somalians remember for themselves or have heard stories from those who survived the famine in 1992, in which as many as 300,000 died.

Alammari and fellow organizers have partnered with the Mankato chapter of the Red Cross for their relief effort. Money they raise through on-campus efforts, as well as donations from the community, will be funneled directly to the organization’s relief efforts in Somalia.

Bob Meyer, director of the Red Cross in Mankato, applauded the students’ initiative and said the international arms of the organization are working hard to provide relief.

The students plan to raise money through the fall semester and are hoping to collect $20,000 or more. They say a $1 donation can purchase more than 8 pounds of wheat or flour.

For the complete Free Press story, see Saturday's print edition, or go to

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