BloggerAid's online raffle will take place from 21-28 February 2010; $10/£6.50 tickets can be purchased through their JustGiving page. There's no pressure to donate or buy a ticket--if you can, that's fabulous. If you cannot donate, that's fine, but please consider passing the word on via whichever means you choose (email, your own blog, Twitter account...).
As we watch the horrifying events unfold in Haiti and reflect on how soon in the new decade thousands of people's lives have been destroyed, it is easy to feel overwhelmed – I’m sure we all do. But a first-hand account from somebody who had flown a relief flight to Haiti after the quake provided the impetus to push us into action and not stand idly by as others suffered.
H2OPE for Haiti co-ordinator Jeanne writes:
“A few days after the quake, one of my closest friends updated his Facebook
status to say he was off to Haiti. As a qualified pilot he had volunteered to
fly a plane full of relief supplies from Paris to Haiti. He told me afterwards
than nothing could have prepared him for the experience. When the plane finally
was allowed to land, there were no steps up to the cockpit level - which was a
good thing because the plane was literally stormed by desperate people. While
the cargo doors at the back were opened and guarded by troops so that the
supplies could be offloaded, the pilots were left looking at a sea of desperate
and pleading faces below them. In the end, they opened the passenger doors
and threw everything they could to the people below - the plane’s first aid
kits, blankets, toilet paper, and even bottles of water and food meant for the
crew. He said he had never seen such desperation and hopes never to do so again.
He also told me that the air traffic controllers were operating a strict
priority landing system. The operators of each plane had to fax the ATCs proof
of what cargo a plane was carrying. Planes carrying priority items got to land
first. My friend’s plane was in a holding pattern for 2 hours - until the cargo
manifest came through and showed they were carrying water. Then they were
instantly told to land.”
From Sunday, February 21 - Sunday, February 28th, BloggerAid Changing the Face of Famine (BA-CFF) will be launching H2Ope for Haiti, an online raffle to raise funds for Concern Worldwide's relief effort in Haiti. As clean drinking water was one of the most acute needs in the aftermath of the quake, we selected Concern Worldwide because of its long track record and quick response after the quake to provide clean drinking water and water purification tablets. This non-governmental international humanitarian organisation founded in 1968 works around the world to reduce suffering and work towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world's poorest countries. Concern International has been working in Haiti since 1994 and had over 100 staff members on the ground when the earthquake struck. Despite losing several team members in the tragedy, they have been quick to act with distribution of supplies and in the first 14 days after the quake they chartered two flights to bring emergency supplies to Haiti, distributed 135,000 litres of water per day (and water purification tablets) to 50,000 people and set up 3 nutrition camps which have helped 700 people.
According to Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide: “The destruction is profound, you see the devastation everywhere, but you see the depth of this tragedy most in the eyes of the people you meet as they struggle to survive, to respond and to grieve. The task ahead is huge.” Concern Worldwide estimates that its initial response to the emergency will last at least six months. In the coming weeks, Concern Worldwide’s priorities are to: Initiate a cash-for-work cleanup campaign to help victims of the earthquake earn a basic living - Build temporary latrines for 15,000 people - Provide temporary shelter (tents and plastic sheeting) for 25,000 people - Set up 7 outreach nutrition centres in camps for displaced persons, especially children under the age of one.
All of this will, of course, need financial resources and we hope that by running this raffle BA-CFF will be able to help in some small way to finance Haiti’s recovery process.
The money raised by this raffle will be paid directly into a Justgiving page, meaning that nobody at BA-CFF will have any money in our possession - the money gets paid directly into the charity's account, to be applied exclusively to the Haiti relief effort. We thought this was the most secure and least controversial way to do it, even if it attracts a 7.5% fee. The other benefit of Justgiving is that they accept credit cards, debit cards and Paypal as payment methods, making it as easy as possible for people all over the world to donate and participate.
I'm a quill for hire!