Tuesday 12th November
Life has stopped at Scottish island mum HQ as I suspend normal activities in order to work with international charities and their pleas for help to support the people of the Philippines.
A quick glance at my facebook timeline confirmed what I suspected. The world is simply not registering what has happened in this devastated country. I am quite sure we have all become desensitized to reports from corners of the world ripped apart by yet another natural disaster. My role, therefore, is to reach out as far and wide as possible to keep this disaster in the front of people's minds. International charities work with huge budgets but their finances are totally inadequate when a disaster hits on this scale. It is critical, therefore, that we all respond.
I am working across several campaigns but Scottish island mum wants to promote the work of UNICEF in this blog today. An international charity with children at its heart they have the toughest of jobs in this case. As I write children are being discovered wandering around the debris that was their village or town quite alone. Trauma has reached deep into their soul and stolen their voices. Their darkened eyes stare out for the world to see and we must see these eyes and we must help to find their voices. The children are all being taken to disaster centres that have some access to food, water and shelter. These are the lucky children. For others have already lost their lives while still more are yet to be found.
First response is all about the basics - shelter, food, water, sanitation and medication. All monies raised will initially filter into these areas. Many charities are asking for £5.00 to be sent via text as that is the fastest way for them to receive those vial funds. But I am asking for people to send more than £5.00 if they can possibly afford it. Beyond the first response comes additional support that attempts to support traumatised children and this requires funds, time and love. Imagine if we all donated the equivalent cost of one Christmas present.....
We can never understand the trauma but we can do something to help. My contacts tell me that beyond money there are still ways to help. The world now needs to turn to face the children of the Philippines and show their love. At ground level the charity workers tell us that being able to tell the children that the people of the world love them means a great deal. If we all used our social networking to keep up with the latest news and to share pleas for help we are showing just how much we care. The very worst thing we can do is ignore them.
I have changed my profile picture on Facebook to a single candle in the darkness as one way of showing that I stand beside the people of the Philippines. Imagine if we all did that? So, it is not just about donating money, it is about finding ways to communicate with this nation and showing that we care. If the world is a village we have lost a very big part of it.
Please join Scottish island mum and do what you can. I will be doing my absolute best to bring the very latest news to our facebook page. Let us find those lost voices. Thank you. xx