When Father Ellwood E. Kieser made his trip to Ethiopia ("Sharing the Tragedy of Ethiopia," Jan. 28), he saw and described what I believe many more Americans need to see. He not only illustrated the desperate situation of these people, but, more importantly, their eternal hope in the face of their desperation. With increased and continued support from American agencies, these optimistic people can and will utilize this determination to develop physically, mentally and spiritually.
What other result could there be than the betterment of Ethiopia's population and its relations with the United States? If we were to give all the relief possible to these suffering people, the result would be beneficial to all. Those who disagree claim that there would be no compensation for America's effort and expense. I'm not so sure there is a definite need for such compensation; however, I believe that gratitude on the part of the Ethiopian population would lead to peaceful relations and promises of help from a reconstructed country. Isn't that enough?
It has always been America's policy to take the suffering and oppressed under her protective wing--why stop now?
I know several people who believe that helping Ethiopia is a waste of money and time. They say that the money donated will probably not be used to help Ethiopians. They also say that Ethiopia will become too dependent on foreign countries. I think they are uninformed and very insensitive. It is true that some donated money may get in the wrong hands, but most of the money will be used properly. Many people, especially children, are dying of starvation every day. These people need to be helped immediately. Sending immediate aid to Ethiopia is not a matter of whether or not they will become dependent on foreign aid.
Father Kieser gives a clear, firsthand picture of the situation in Ethiopia. His article will inform the public of the great need for immediate help to Ethiopia. He also makes a very important point that the Ethiopians are a people with dignity and that they may have more to give us than we have to give them.