SEATTLE — Love Army for Somalia is a campaign aiming to distribute food and water every day to alleviate the famine in Somalia. The idea was created by YouTuber Jerome Jarre, who has been a popular social media figure for years. He was inspired to act after seeing the outbreak famine in Somalia and its impacts after a major drought that caused hundreds of deaths in a short time.
Jarre began his activism by looking up flights to Somalia. He discovered the only flight he would be able to take from New York was Turkish Airlines. He asked the airline if he could fill the flight with food to assist with the famine in Somalia. Turkish Airlines approved of the idea, and this initial movement grew into Love Army for Somalia.
“We have to remember that this is not reality, the reality is we can come together. We can look for solutions, we can try,” Jarre said. “Especially with social media, we are all on social media…I hope this will resonate with your hearts.”
Jarre’s passion for helping sets an example for many who feel the same way, so his response to the famine in Somalia captures his donors and contributors. Jarre’s idea caught the attention of actor Ben Stiller, who made a significant contribution to the campaign. Stiller funded the campaign through his charity, the Stiller Foundation, and led the campaign to manage the funds. The campaign has been successful with the help of many other figures and has since collaborated with celebrities such as NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
“My friend, Jerome Jarre, brought this to my attention…a crazy idea that he thinks we could help by getting an airplane filled with food and water to Somalia,” Stiller said. “It’s kind of a crazy idea but I think it could work.”
Jarre created a GoFundMe page for the campaign and quickly raised a million dollars. The page is still up, and he hopes to raise even more. With the money already raised, Jarre and others are in Somalia distributing the food and water. Turkish Airlines provided 60 tons of food and will use its flights to ship food until the famine is over.
Almost a million people have donated, and more than $2 million is going toward relieving the famine in Somalia. This is the army Jarre created from a small idea, a love army for Somalia.
– Brandi Gomez