From the Intern Desk

Blog entry from Youth Reach Intern, Christine DiGangi, on the privilege of internet.

Christine DiGangi

Most of my friends are about 5,000 miles away from me right now. It’s really hard to keep up with them, but I do my best to stay in touch – even if that means talking about nonsense.

One of my friends and I ask each other random questions when we run out of good conversation topics. Recently, we entertained the dilemma “What’s something you need to have almost every day and couldn’t live without?”

Logical answers: water, food, clothing, shelter, modes of transportation. My answer: the Internet

Before you label me as ignorant or materialistic, let me explain.

Six weeks ago, I arrived in Italy. For the first month, I stayed in a nice flat with a family, but there was no Internet access, and I could hardly communicate with anyone at home. No Skype, no Facebook, not even e-mail. On several occasions, I described the situation as “torturous.”

So I moved. During my search, I scanned apartment listings for one thing: Wi-Fi. The place I decided to take had that and more, but upon my arrival last Monday afternoon, I was told Internet access would be set up later that night. When it didn’t happen, I was told they’d come in two days. That day, my roommates told me it would be next week. Yesterday, the new appointment was scheduled for this Thursday (tomorrow). Sounds frustrating, doesn’t it?

It is.

There are well over a billion online users, and this one is feeling seriously deprived. Right now, you are online, and I’m jealous of all the things you can do with this privilege.

Do you realise all the things you get to do? Information awaits to be accessed fractions of a second after you search for it. There are countless videos and music files available for entertainment at your disposal. You can buy things from all over the globe.

Guess what – you can also help solve world hunger.

For the first time, there are more than a billion people suffering from chronic hunger around the world. Match that number with the amount of online users, and the problem becomes less intimidating: one on one, a billion for a billion. If you didn’t know that, chances are your friends don’t know that either. Tell them. Raise awareness. For an issue of this magnitude, the solution is surprisingly manageable.

While I may think I’m technology-starved with an Internet-less laptop, I’ll certainly survive. The 1.2 billion hungry people of the world might not fare as well.

It takes two clicks: this link and the “send payment” button. What will you do with your privilege?


Christine DiGangi is from Chicago and is interning with WFP Youth Outreach. She loves running, chocolate, and fighting hunger.