We spent much of our weekend feeling pretty useless. Disasters like those which struck Haiti last week make you question your path in life – should you have made different choices which might allow you to help more? In the short term, all that can be done is to donate money – which seems in so many ways a passive, consolatory thing to do. Donate we did, though. We selected the Disasters Emergency Committee, but other options, which we’ll probably also look at in the coming weeks, include Doctors Without Borders, of course, as well as the Haiti Relief Fund and Partners in Health.
Those last two links come courtesy of Foxessa, who has been asking some pertinent questions of particularly the US media coverage of the earthquake’s aftermath. (For British examples of which, see today’s Telegraph frontpage story, headlined “Looting, Shooting and Lynching” – lynching! – and accompanied by a picture of a man holding a knife.) This sort of coverage seems at odds with the broader noises coming out of the country, which are so far quite astoundingly calm. A hearty hmm to that, then, and a very big ‘good for you’ to those volunteering actually to help. Haiti is often over-looked as a matter of course; we hope after the initial splurge of compassion that we’ll all continue to keep an eye on it.