International Affairs Specialist by day, Blogger Enthusiast by night. This is a sneak peek into my world that should be enjoyed with ample time and a good and very strong cup of java.
I’m truly amazed and a little shocked that funds are still being raised for Haitian relief. First, the out pour of contributions from regular Joe’s, then the telethons and concerts and now, a cover of ‘We Are the World’ being released. It’s wonderful that so many people have rallied behind a cause and done something great for other people in the world for no other reason than helping out. I’m shocked for three reasons; first, because news never stays new for long and what’s hot today will be gone at the latest by the end of the next week. So the fact that stories continue to hit the press about Haiti and the fundraising continues to rise, is phenomenal. And second, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a wide-scale fundraising effort generate so much success. The Canadian government matched donated funds on the first week – out of the ordinary, but a positive step. And third, a good chunk of the funds are coming from the public, independent of development aid and disaster relief funds that governments have in their stocks. Fantastic, get everybody involved!
The only thing that I don’t seem to get is why Haiti is special? I don’t mean that they don’t deserve it, but rather, Haiti was a devastation before the Earthquake; rampant crime, scores of trafficking victims, poor rule of law, devastated economy, but the news barely covered it, Hollywood was ignorant and I’m sure ordinary citizens didn’t even know where it was on a map. Does it take a disaster to get people to wake up and act? And if that were the case, why doesn’t widescale action happen for every catastrope, issue or devastation that takes place in the world?
Did ordinary citizens, business tycoons and Hollywood starlets lend their efforts to raise funds for victims of the tsunami, an earthquake in Sumatra (which occured just a few months before Port-au-Prince) or for victims of genocide etc. Are earthquakes easier to understand? I just see so many causes that could benefit from similar fundraising efforts, but no one seems to acknowledge that there is a need for it – at least not in the mainstream press.
So as the Haitian funds continue to flow and provide aid to those that need it, I hope that donor’s, both governmental and private sphere, become a little more aware of the world around them and spread their awareness and funds around to other parts of the globe that could use similar assistance. A simple good deed goes a long way.