Thread: Haiti
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:32 AM
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Ravenesque Ravenesque is offline
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Default Give in the way that seems best

I agree with you about logistics and personnel, YGirl.

The fact that there is only one airstrip and not enough room for several planes to land in Port-au-Prince is definitely a serious logistics issue when it comes to delivering aid by air. It takes 5 hours to get from the airport in Santo Domingo in D.R. to Port-au-Prince by land. And that's when the roads are good. At the moment, the estimate is a full day.

Thankfully other avenues (like the sea) are being used as well. A floating naval hospital was sent. Logistics and personnel may be a limitation but not one that is insurmountable. Many are being helped even in the wake of so many lives lost.

The nature of aid which is sent is not limited to cash. Cash doesn't always have the greatest impact either depending on how it is used. I linked to an organization which is involved in several different methods of humanitarian aid with a global reach. Donations of money is but one way. I don't think I highlighted money in my post but I'll double check.

How people choose to contribute is a personal decision based on their desire and their capability to do so. Whether it is done year round or only at certain moments. Some are unable to contribute in one way so they choose another. Showing that there are alternatives is helpful. Some are unable to contribute at all because of the hard conditions of their own lives.

The mindset that some suffering is "small" is indeed a sad one. Suffering is simply suffering. It affects perhaps a small or large amount of people. Though hey, if it's about a billionaire losing several million, I have trouble qualifying that as suffering at all personally. My mind goes to the recession, the roles played in the recession, and the suffering those parts played, caused people across the nation and worldwide.

I often see attention drawn to suffering outside of the U.S. and suffering within the U.S. ignored. The idea usually is that the U.S. doesn't have humanitarian issues. Greatest country in the world. Rah rah and all that crap.

Haiti's people had been experiencing ongoing problems before this tragedy hit, which in turn may have made the earthquake harder to handle than it would have been otherwise. Similarly the areas of New Orleans which were hardest hit were already experiencing hardships. These day to day issues are not generally the focus of the mainstream. I've also thought for a while that these things are unnoticed and under-addressed.

Regardless of where they are, I do feel drawn to reach out to human beings who are struggling to live life. I believe that all living things are sacred including animals. However, people have a significant impact (creative or destructive) on this Earth, which includes all of it's creatures. Wreaking havoc and seeking to rectify. It is even people again who are running animal charities. While human beings can make a huge difference in the suffering and substandard living conditions animals may have, I don't see animals having a reciprocal affect on human beings. Animals can't create charities or lobby in the government or send aid for the environment or to humans in need large or small.

How I contribute my resources would then go in the order I see the greatest positive impact being made for the entire Earth as a whole.

And that is all I could ever ask others to do as well, in whichever way seems best to them. Whether that is in helping in this disaster or the ongoing disasters which some call life.

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