07 May 2008

Breaking: Could be 100,000+ dead in Myanmar


"...while the top U.S. diplomat in Myanmar said Wednesday that up to 100,000 people may have died in the devastating cyclone."

100,000 people


According to new information, the number of dead in Myanmar could be well over 22,000, with over 1 million homeless and 40,000 missing. That's almost unfathomable.

Even more unfortunate than the tens of thousands of lives lost and the million-plus lives turned upside down, the government of Myanmar, according to MSNBC, "is dragging its feet on giving visas to aid workers who are waiting to help the survivors of Cyclone Nargis." This means that aid is being put together in countries all over the world, by the government of the victims is slowing down much needed recovery efforts. How horrible is that?

France is trying to convince the United Nations to allow nations to go ahead and take aid to Myanmar without going through the government, since time is very, very important in a case like this. Hopefully either Myanmar's government (which isn't known to care much about its people) will step up and let aid agencies in, or the UN will take France's advice. People are suffering and politics need to be the last thing on people's minds right now.

If you want to help the victims and recovery efforts in Myanmar, here are a few organizations you can check out:
Oxfam International
Doctors Without Borders

02 May 2008

Help Children... And Improve the Future

"We are all born helpless. Without a parent's kindness we could not survive, much less prosper. When children grow up in constant fear, with no one to rely on, they suffer their whole lives. Because the minds of small children are very delicate, their need for kindness is particularly obvious." - H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama, How To Practice the Way to a Meaningful Life.

Children all over the world suffer from a number of causes - famine, disease, land mines, war. They are unable to have much of a say in the way their governments act, and thus are caught in the middle of the disastrous plans of a distant leader. It's well-known that women and children suffer the most in developing and warring countries, and there is a lot that needs to be done by developed nations to fix this problem.

One can argue that the most important reason (other than basic human rights) that children need to be helped is that because they are heavily influenced by their experiences and surroundings. A child raised in a compassionate, kind atmosphere is more likely to end up as a compassionate, kind adult than a child raised with no food and a gun in their hand.

UNICEF - The United Nations Children's Fund provides children in developing regions with proper food, education, medicine, and protection from violence. They teach both children and their parents the importance of nutrition, equality, and how to deal with emergences.

Coalition To Stop the Use of Child Soldiers was created and 1998 and does exactly what their name suggests - they prevent the use of children as soldiers.

International Campaign to Ban Landmines not only helps children, but everyone in a landmine ridden area.

War Child International also serves to put an end to children being forced to fight wars.