The need for a rallying cry for help : Barefoot in the snow

Last week a news item showed an alarming view of barefoot children and people walking across freshly laid snow in the altitudes of disaster torn Kashmir. It was a reality check. The problems generated by the South East Asian Earthquake are now being compounded by originally predicted factors : bad weather and poor resources. Temporary housing, for example tents are collapsing, food shortages are occurring and illnesses have started. Another scene that was disturbing was a group of men sitting outside a doctor’s tent, all were coughing, heaving for breath. In a world that is full of so many resources and predictive approaches, why are we still unable to provide service to these people? I’ve asked this question so many times. It is great that teams do exist and that the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) provide a facility to collect supportive funds. However, I can’t help thinking that there is more that we can all do.Take for example corporations. Say you wish to order some stationery or some Information Technology equipment. Is it not wonderful that procurement processes are so sophisticated that within 24 hours one can get a delivery. Another example is Amazon. Again, another example of great logistics. Placing an order within them can (dependant on availability) result in the delivery of your item the next day. The knowledge, systems and motivation of the employees of these operations has to be admired. Yet today we struggle to get the basic needs of a disaster struck zone fulfilled.

Would it not be great if secondments could be established in corporations for such expertise to consult and work with relief teams? Even if corporations did not allow staff to take time off, they could suggest various ways of helping. For example, freight organisations could provide free cargo capacity to allow the transportation of essential goods.

Ideas require motivation but in order to help generate such ideas people should be motivated in the context of self-less service. Unfortunately without the dimension of money/profit any momentum to help is often replaced by apathy.

I believe that there is an opportunity to develop a collaborative world community. If only companies could set-up their own Make Poverty History (MPH) teams to accelerate the momentum for radical world change and harmonisation. Just imagine if we could also have monthly MPH sessions to review company assets and opportunities to help – what a wonderful caring world we would be in.

Heavy rain and snowfall are badly hampering relief efforts in Kashmir. Roads have been closed and helicopters grounded by bad weather and landslides. Survivors’ tents have been flooded. While many in the west sleep in centrally heated houses in another part of the world many face another night in the cold. Barefoot children and adults continue to seek a sense of warmth.

Start a corporate relief campaign today and head for to raise further relief funds.
£15 will buy 7 blankets, £42 will buy a family survival kit helping for at least 20 days and £90 will buy a winterised tent for a family
Please see the photo evidence and let us release ourselves from world apathy…

Categories: 2006

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