The devastation in the Philippines this last few days has been hard to watch. Typhoon Haiyan tore through, killing and displacing thousands.
As usual, it is the poor who bear the brunt of these disasters, left without homes and livelihoods, little Government support, rations and emergency packs from NGOs like the International Red Cross or UNICEF, but only until the crisis passes. Then they must work out how to rebuild their lives, with no insurance, no healthcare and limited provision of services.
Needless to say girls’ education is not a priority in these events and they remain amongst the most vulnerable to sexual assault and exploitation which we know escalates during crises. And so the poverty cycle continues.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the scale of human tragedy, but I wonder if rather than allowing ourselves to become tired with charity fatigue, we could reorient our lives a little? Find a new way to see?
Most of us have excesses that we can do without on a daily basis, whether it’s a coffee or new cushions for the lounge or a new set of white beads like the ones I have been eyeing off for a few weeks.
The beads will wait a bit longer in lieu of the donation I will be making this week to help people rebuild their lives through the partners in Manila we work with in my ‘day job’.
There is so much wealth in the world. And so much poverty. If each of us could adjust a little, decide how to respond when these disasters strike, and then give in the way we would want people to give for us if we had lost everything…we could set devastated communities up to thrive.
Jane for team ‘a Girl & her world’