Friday, January 22, 2010

Haiti needs more than 90999

I feel terrible for the people of Haiti. I can’t even imagine what the people there must be feeling or going through. It’s really not fair that nature strikes hardest in some of the poorest nations in the world that do not have the infrastructure or resources to help their people manage and cope. Im pleased to see the world coming together to provide aid and relief for the Haitians, albeit the US government has been slow to follow through on the delivery and administration of supplies. Its times like this where you feel helpless to do as much as you can for something that seems such an atrociously large and violent mess. I mean, where do you begin?

I was thinking about ways I could help beyond texting 90999 to donate to Red Cross. If I could I would put together sponsors from various food companies and send trucks down there with masses of branded food products for distribution, shoot a documentary to create advertising for the companies and feed the hungry simulataneously. Apparently this is not possible because of rules and regulations about government aid. I think this bites. To think that beaurocracy gets in the way during a crisis is just heartbreaking. I personally don’t have the money to compete with Red Cross, UNICEF or Wyclef Cef but I would like to help and yet the fact that I wouldn’t be able to in the way I think would be the best way I can physically help really annoys me. But putting my need to be involved in a key role in a mission to save the world aside, there must be something else people like me can do?!

What can a person do that does not have a lot of financial resources or worldwide fan club for a poor and terrified nation of Haiti aside from pray? Who’s responsibility really is it to ensure that something will be done effectively? What about the people who are useful but don’t know HOW to help beyond donating $10 to a hotline?

Its easy to complain about how the rich of this nation should be forking out their money first. Its easy to speak in hypotheticals such as; “If I was worth a 200 million dollar empire I would certainly not miss 1 million” and give the responsibility to the rich to provide for the poor. But the world does not work this way. The problem is that just because you have it doesn’t make you the kind of person to spend it. A lot of people who are in a position of power and financial abundance do not feel they are obligated with the responsibility to use it to save the world.

Dont get me wrong. Celebrities are on board the aid train; donating their face and concerts to bring relief in dollars for NFP organizations. I think there ARE people in a position of power and abundance that are using their affluence to help. However, though aid is a really important, fundamental concern right now, I also believe we are forgetting the need for service people to rebuild and develop an infrastructure down there to shelter the people and bring them clean water, electricity and comfort.

Could there be an agency in the USA that enlists people to volunteer their time to go down to Haiti for a few months and receive a tax break to physically commit to this? Google has the money; it could get on board. It has a search engine that spans across the globe! There are a lot of people in the States and abroad out of a job right now. Surely on a national level the government could pool together funding from an airline and create a NFP organization that hosts volunteer engineers, construction people and laborers plus psychologists, doctors and nurses, caretakers? This would be something that has not been done before. It would create a bridge from our individualist society towards a collectivist one. I think it would represent a transformational America. One thats not every man for himself but every man for his people and planet.

1 comment:

  1. The agency idea in the USA sounds like a great idea albeit a tough one to organise - but then again look at all the Gap Year organisations around! Maybe you should put together some kind of proposal. There should actually be one for every major world economy.

    Re: the rich - someone once said to me the reason why many of them ARE rich is because they're tight or rather let me correct, hedonistic. Somebody I know worked in a pizza place and said David Beckham once ordered £250 of pizza & gave a £5 tip to the delivery guy! In fact, any people I know that are not well off are the ones that seem to give more relatively-speaking.