Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Evan Appeal

I'm still emotionally stuck at Haiti 2010 and have observed Christchurch, Japan, China, Turkey, and the Indus Floods with something of a detached frame of mind, but we in New Zealand have special place for the Pacific Islands. Auckland, for instance, has the largest Pacific Island population in the world. Many Kiwis work/volunteer in the Islands and many Islanders come to New Zealand to send money back home. The latest, Cyclone Evan worries me very much.

Samoa had a bad flood/tsunami in either 2010 or 11, which decimated a tourist areas, an important cash earner for that nation. Evan went over the entire country this week.

Fiji has had tremendous political upheaval in the last couple of decades, hurting the populous and the tourist industry. It's only today we're finding out how Fiji is faring, (not well,) because a lot of folks were evacuated and power was out for a couple of days.  

Tonga has had political unrest of late and was supposedly in Evan's path; I understand they did better than Samoa and Fiji this time. 

And these are the larger Island countries who have resources, infrastructures and established (albeit at times tenuous) relationships with New Zealand and Australia as well as Japan, China and some with the US that I know of.

Even without extreme weather events, these, and smaller nations and territories like Niue, Nauru, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands have been suffering from the rising waters, some territories reluctantly deciding to leave altogether in the next decade or two.

Many/most are devout Christian countries if that is a factor for you.

This holiday season, if you have a few dollars to spare, please include these folks in your option to give.

For starters I'm giving Kiva credit to my nephews and niece and talk to them about the Pacific, (we've been to the Cooks, Fiji and Tonga,) and how micro loans work so they can reinvest. Kiva has a relationship with Samoan organizations, and the Philippines; mustn't forget Bopha. I have a moral unease when I catalogue-shop for borrowers, but do prefer my meager help going to older women involved in what to me are worthy work, (food, textile, as opposed to selling fizzy drinks and cosmetics,) with loans going to the women's own businesses rather than their borrowing on behalf of their menfolk. and Kiva is so easy.   

My direct donation organization of preference is Salvation Army and they have their Pacific Island HQ in Honolulu. I'm hoping your local Salvation Army, Red Cross, church and other groups of choice will have something set up for Evan victims.

Thank you for reading.

4 comments:

  1. I know that at least in Samoa they are asking for things as well as money in the first instance because whole places just got washed away, apparently.

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  2. This is the first I heard about Evan. I'm so sorry for all the folks in the island nations. RE: the Salvation Army, there was a bit on Facebook a week or so go saying that the SA is a religious organization that is against gay rights, among other things. Check it out for yourself.

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  3. Will do. Here, though, they do a great job helping people, as they do in Japan. I had a cousin whose grandfather (not the one we shared) who was a member of the church in Japan and it's partly because of his person that I admire the organization.

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  4. I couldn't find much that was specific about Salvation Army being against gay marriage, except the one Canadian volunteer. http://www.theloop.ca/news/all/local/british-columbia/article/-/a/876098/B-C-Salvation-Army-volunteer-tells-gay-rights-supporters-not-to-donate (Actually quite a good article clarifying Salvation Army's stance, and that they are not anti-gay: "(statement on their website" stated that there is no scriptural support for the mistreatment of homosexuals, and that the Salvation Army does not consider the sexual orientation "blameworthy in itself or simply a matter of the will."

    Other organizations appear to have overgeneralized and reacted to this, though it appears also true that the organization has historically opposed to legalizing gay rights. But all is not lost, at least in Kiwiland. The press didn't make much of this in May and I hadn't noticed, but there it is: http://now.msn.com/salvation-army-bell-ringer-asks-gay-rights-supporters-not-to-donate

    I think, overall, I will still keep this organization as my donation recipient of choice until further notice. I feel very frustrated that Red Cross worldwide takes months and years to distribute emergency donations and a substantial part of it is spent on admin.

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