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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 18:40 GMT
Your comments and memories
Live Aid concert in 1985
One third of the world's population watched the Live Aid concert in 1985

In 1984 the world was shocked by the powerful and heart-wrenching images of the Ethiopia famine.

Did you take part in a charity event, perhaps at work or at school? Do you remember Live Aid? Maybe you were an aid worker in Ethiopia?

We asked you to share some of your memories.

The comments published on this page reflect the balance of views we received.


I was 7-years-old at the time of the 1984-85 famine and so struck by the images of children my age, that I started a campaign with my cousins in Sweden. We picked flowers on the meadow and sold them.
Vanessa Asell, Japan

I watched last night's programme in utter disbelief, as if seeing it for the first time. It broke my heart again, 20 years on. I am ashamed that I forgot the starving children of Ethiopia.
Robert, UK

The programme left me feeling angry, hurt and embarassed about living in the Western world. Behran's father was so composed, not angry just accepting. We could learn a lot from him.
Karen, Scotland

My friend Denise and I participated in the 'Run the World' marathon, although we walked most of it and I had to be carried over the finish line!!!
Susan Murray, Ireland

As an Ethiopian I felt very depressed after the program as after all that has happened we are in the same or worse situation with no hope in sight.
Wainam Massai, UK

An incredibly powerful documentary, I think we could all learn a lesson in humility and dignity from the people of Ethiopia. Unfortunately, decades of civil war with Eritrea, border conflicts with Somalia, the brutal regime of the 1970's and 80's and natural disaster have left this beutiful land crippled.
Ed Haines, UK

It is easy to talk of population control. Are we in the rich countries making any efforts to control our much more wasteful populations?
Adam, London

I have just returned from a fantastic three-week holiday in Ethiopia. From a tourist perspective, Ethiopia can offer almost everything popular neighbouring countries offer: amazing culture, tribes, people, scenery, mountains, trekking, wildlife and history. The only exception is being a landlocked country, it does not have gorgeous beaches like neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania. It's a great shame that the one obstacle blocking this development is the misconception that the great majority of people have: Ethiopia is nothing more than a desertified country plagued by war, drought and famine.
Nick Massey, England

I feel sure that one of the main causes of this and other famines, wars, and neglected disease is greed. Until we in the 'minority world' will accept a drop in living standards, these problems will grow. We will see wars for water in less than a generation, yet we will continue using unnecessary luxuries. It is easy to talk of population control. Are we in the rich countries making any efforts to control our much more wasteful populations?
Adam, UK

I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying this series. It's been a long time since we have had interesting documentaries. Last night's programme was superb. I didn't flick from channel to channel once and remained glued to the TV. I hope the BBC continue to put more money into programme making like this. Thank you.
Varsha Chauhan, England

How can our government still be allowing this to happen in 2004? It's truly heartbreaking, and I as a citizen of this country feel guilty.
Tracey McAndrews, London, UK

This programme shows the power of television and how it can positively effect change. It was a truly humbling experience to see how we can live on so much and not be grateful.
Isi, UK

I cried uncontrollably when you showed that Berhan had survived. Thank you for showing something wonderful that came from utter despair
Natalie Briant, UK

This was the most humbling programme I have ever seen and was in tears watching. I can only pray that situations like this can never be repeated and that the nations of the world can learn from their mistakes. We must educate not only the Third World, but also our world to ensure that history will never be repeated.
Ewan Murray, Scotland

Once again I am deeply moved and incredibly angry. It is obscene the amount of money spent around the world on unecessary things on everything from war to slimming products. I was particularly taken with the condemnation of God. Certainly the church doesn't seem to be doing much.
Richard Coomber, UK

Isn't it about time that our goverment stopped sending millions of pounds worth of aid to corrupt countries which never gets through to the people that matter?
David Fisher, Cheshire

I cried uncontrollably when you showed that Berhan had survived. Thank you for showing something wonderful that came from utter despair.
Natalie Briant, UK

The mere idea of Third World debt is preposterous to me
Safiyya Mahmood, UK

I cycled through Ethiopia last year and I saw very few old people. I was told it that it is not the famine but Aids that is creating a country with no old people. It felt like Lord of the Flies on steroids - child anarchy was prevalent.
Michael Kennedy, Edinburgh

I'm 12-years-old and I think that even a three-year-old could run Ethiopia better than the current goverment.
Tshilidzi Ndou, UK

I have often thought if more people in Ethiopia lived in towns rather than in small villages that would allow better consolidation of aid and water resources.
Peter Boarer, Gravesend, UK

Sitting in our cosy warm homes, with all the food and comfort that the West offers, it's hard to believe that there is a world beyond our own little one. The mere idea of Third World debt is preposterous to me. It's like giving a starving and dying man a grain of rice and then charging interest.
Safiyya Mahmood, UK

Doesn't it make all your materialistic worries and stresses suddenly seem very insignificant?
Jeremy, UK

We should all be ashamed of ourselves. Yes, we may have contributed a couple of pounds to buy the single in 1984, but what have we done since?
Lisa Wilkinson, Northern Ireland

My New Year's resolution will be to do something to help those people
Richard Scott Daly, UK

Birth control must be a issue. Food aid will only fill the stomachs of today, not the doubled numbers of tomorrow.
Tim Hopper, UK

I was in Ethiopia this time last year with Christian Aid. I saw some very sad sights, and some very tragic sights. But, I saw very hopeful projects; water projects in the north, reforestation, new farming techniques being taught, cereal banks being built and farming co-operatives. I would go back tomorrow to this wonderful country, and these fantastically generous, dignified people.
Phaedra, UK

The lady who compared herself to a Nazi is the type of woman I would like to see rewarded in the Honours List.
Andy Mitchell, UK

Michael Burke's documentary on Ethiopia really touched me. My New Year's resolution will be to do something to help those people.
Richard Scott Daly, UK

An amazing programme that reduced me to tears
Hazel Bird

The programme brought back many sad memories of the famine in Ethiopia. Sadly the world is still a cruel place and rich countries arre getting even more greedy than ever.
Sam Rose, UK

Another campaign, like Live Aid must be started to bring about greater public awareness. If the governments won't do anything, the people must!
Camilla Marcus-Dew, Dorset

An amazing programme that reduced me to tears.
Hazel Bird

I worked as a volunteer aid worker with World Vision in 1985 as things were beginning to improve. This return visit was very moving. He did not mention Aids though.
Veronica Moss, UK

It is shocking that Ethiopia is the waterline of Africa that serves the Nile yet its country is dying of famine and drought. I beleive much aid should be given to using the country's water resource to build dams. This should also mean ending the treaty with North Africa which advocate the provision of water from Ethiopia's river to serve the Nile and elsewhere.
Kevine Walcott, UK

Why doesn't a major Western power send troops into the country, not to take control but to help distribute the food more fairly?
Derrick Fox, UK

When you see how families in poor countries are suffering in every way, it is only then that I realise how lucky I am
Kevin Higginson, Coventry

This programme should be on every single channel so no-one can ignore how greedy this world is.
Louise, Whitstable

The West can find billions of dollars to go to war, but can't spare a few millions to help Africans.
Asim, Manchester

I think that the governments of the world should work together to set up an aid fund to help Third World countries develop.
Billy, Manchester

When you see how families in poor countries are suffering in every way, it is only then that I realise how lucky I am.
Kevin Higginson, Coventry

Thank you Michael for bringing this plight to the world. I was there with the RAF on the mercy flights.
Tony Moore

It still happens while we sit watching TV and texting
Lesley, Dundee

How about releasing a DVD of the Live Aid concert to raise funds for charities working out there now?
Gordon, Warrington

There will never be another concert in my lifetime like Live Aid.
Sarah, Wrexham

To see a young baby starving to death is unwarrantable, unforgiveable and the greatest injustice of all.
Pete, Peterborough

Why didn't we learn? It still happens while we sit watching TV and texting.
Lesley, Dundee

These people need more education, as children dying due to superstition is simply not on.
May Long, Lincolnshire

What can we do now that could make a difference and reduce dependency, giving these people their dignity back?
Lynne, Frith

Forget celebrities - this is real life.
Miss Pinnock

I cannot believe how slow our governments were and how hard-hearted they were when we had so much going to waste.
Rachel Howcroft

We smoke ourselves to death, drink ourselves into a stupor and yet watch these millions die
Dan, Wolverhampton

This was a war crime on the same scale as Rwanda in 1994. Why has no-one ever been prosecuted for it?
Dean Stuart, Bournemouth

Isn't it such a shame that 20 years on we have a nation of children and adults that are greedy and who are not still helping these people.
Mrs Mathews, S Wales

We smoke ourselves to death, drink ourselves into a stupor and yet watch these millions die.
Dan, Wolverhampton

All countries should have a leader like Sir Bob Geldof.
Louise, Whitstable

We must do more to help these people regenerate their land so that one day they might be capable of providing for themselves and their families.
Kaqen, Hastings

We in the developed world are far too greedy
Barney, Staines

I will always remember the reports that showed the worst of humanity and then taught us how to be the best.
Shamela Kylassum, Harrow

We must do more to help these people regenerate their land so that one day they might be capable of providing for themselves and their families.
Kaqen, Hastings.

Surely we could spend less time making weapons and more time saving lives.
DP, London

We need to help these poor people. We in the developed world are far too greedy.
Barney, Staines

If we spent as much money on fighting poverty as we do wars maybe the world would be a better and safer place.
AK, UK

The people of this world can no longer dream of better days until we make an effort. The problem is greed.
Wayne Tod, Edinburgh

This should still not be happening in the year 2004. It would be a different story if Ethiopia had oil.
Ian Wickham, Barnsley

Nevermind life on Mars - what about life on Earth?
Jayne

Have the people of Ethiopia learned anything from our intervention?
Edward Aitcheson, Paisley

Why has nothing ever been done to help these poor people? What has happened to all the money and donations? I am sat here in tears!
Natalie

Why do the superpowers actively support keeping the Third World in a deprived state? They do enough publicly to appear helpful, but subversively fuel unrest.
Liz Lockwood

We need to stop thinking of ourselves and think more of others. Nevermind life on Mars - what about life on Earth?
Jayne

Having seen how others have tried to make change in Ethiopia, it's obvious that the money raised and the work done hasn't been enough.
Carol, Kilmarnock

I feel it is the Ethiopian government who are to blame due to the fact that the mismanaged the economy and abused political system for their personal and minority interests. If we truly wanted to help Africa we should stop selling them the weapons to fight these conflicts which have blighted Africa for decades.
Aduu Joba, UK

If we truly wanted to help Africa we should stop selling them the weapons to fight these conflicts which have blighted Africa for decades.
David Chambers, Scotland

Isn't it a matter of teaching them how to fish rather than giving them fish?
Elaine, Peterborough

I was at Live Aid in Wembley stadium and saw on the big screen a tiny Ethiopian child, covered in flies, weak with hunger, simply trying to stand. Everyone held their breath, willing him to succeed - then he gave up. It is etched on my mind forever.
David Griffin, UK

Maybe we can forget the lost Beagle on Mars for a minute and cast an eye on a nation that is drowning in unbelievable catastrophes.
Wa Chege, UK

Surely, it is about time that something is done about educating not only the current leaders of Ethiopia but educating the charitable organisations to enable Ethiopians to be more self-sufficient.
Ursula Smartt UK, London

Isn't it a matter of teaching them how to fish rather than giving them fish?
Elaine, Peterborough



SEE ALSO:
Ethiopia: A Journey with Michael Buerk
16 Dec 03  |  This World
Ethiopia: More aid, more hunger still
04 Jan 04  |  This World
Ask Michael Buerk: Live discussion
16 Dec 03  |  This World
Charities working in Ethiopia
05 Jan 04  |  This World
Ethiopia fact file
09 Jan 04  |  This World
Profile: Michael Buerk
09 Jan 04  |  This World


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