For one reason or another, over time reports on tragedy on Africa have become a norm, causing most of the public to ignore the reports and say, That's Africa. What's new, so what?
This sort of behavior actually offends me - it's a demonstration of downright, blatant disregard for human life.
So when people actually rally and show their compassion for the continent, I feel a sense of relief knowing not all people are passive observers. And when progress is made? I feel a small hope that the image of Africa will begin to move forward. Recently a major point for activists has been a demand in several countries for justice when it comes to rape cases.
This is a slightly older report, but it was a massive milestone for human rights. Rape in Africa has always been a problem, with most people refusing to prosecute the cases and rape used as a weapon to degrade women and destroy their lives. It is, in effect, one of the most devastating weapons in African wars. The UN recorded some 11,000 rapes in 2010 - but this is estimated to only be a fraction of the true number of rapes, since this crime is one of the most rarely reported of all.
But when I saw this headline: "DR Congo colonel Kibibi Mutware jailed for mass rape" - words actually failed me at first regarding its significance.
This case turned into a milestone for activists. This was the first conviction in eastern Congo of a commanding officer for rape. And the women who turned out to testify, at the risk of further shame and humiliation, may be some of the bravest women I'll never know and wish I did.
A few weeks later South African activists began taking steps to make "corrective rape" of lesbians a hate crime in the country, with petitions on the Internet gaining international support and rallies in the area growing with time. This action continues to be deliberated today.
I say: justice served. But there's more in the future. And we need to continue to keep an eye on this country and the policies of other African countries, and we need to say: we all deserve this kind of justice.
Don't assume others will do the work. And never assume any little bit you do is too small.
"A little bit" is often more than enough to get things moving. After all - it was the combination of nations on a global petition that began a movement in South Africa for progress in human rights.