We see tragedies on the news all the time. Well, you probably do. I don’t.
I barely get to watch the news as it’s always on during important kid times of the day where I’m busy watching Peppa Pig.
Frankly, the news depresses me and I generally avoid it. War, death, terror, and the occasional random feel good piece sweeten the horror of the previous half an hour.
Technology allows us to watch the news unfold. We see the tears and pain, we can almost taste the smoke or the dust or feel the rubble beneath our feet, but the news rolls on, our Facebook feed rolls on, and soon we flit to somewhere else and the images are forgotten. For most of the population it becomes yesterday’s news….
What then for those people who don’t just exist inside our television or computer screens? This is their reality.
What then of the 1000’s of people whose lives are affected by tragedy? Who live, or exist, in a state of fear, and sorrow, where simple survival is their biggest concern?
Of course our lives go on, that’s what life does but for the less fortunate, the displaced, the affected and the afflicted their lives are changed immeasurably.
On April 25th, 2015, an earthquake hit Nepal that was the worst natural disaster they’d seen in 80 years. More than 5,600 lost their lives with 11,000 injured.
The UN estimates that 8 million people across the country have been affected, that’s one quarter of the population. More than 70,000 homes were destroyed, leaving 2.8 million people displaced.
Imagine if that were you…..just one day everything you know is lost.
Loved ones dead or missing, home destroyed, livelihood gone. How do you rebuild when your entire life has been effected so deeply by such a disaster?
It’s utterly, unequivocally, unfathomable.
The first phase is getting food, water, shelter and medicine to those who need it. Basic human needs after all lifelines have been cut off.
We don’t hear about the Nepalese so much anymore….except that another earthquake hit followed by a heat wave.
I also heard that many children were going back to school about now. Trying to get back to some semblance of normality.
Who are these children so many miles away trying to survive each day while my family is deciding whether we watch Frozen or the Lego Movie?
Oxfam, plus other aid organisations, are called to arms during disasters to provide hygiene kits, pit toilets and water. Simple things that are so often taken for granted.
If there is ever a silver lining in these horrible scenarios it’s the inspirational stories of hope and survival in the face of adversity.
People working together. Humans helping humans instead of the normal awful news of power and greed and war.
But Oxfam is not just about disaster relief.
70% of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty are women and girls. And through purchasing items from Oxfam, your purchases help to promote women’s equality and economic independence through ethical trade – all while preserving and passing down skills and knowledge to the next generation of women.
For instance the Hillcrest Aids Centre trust who are an amazing social enterprise in South Africa which helps women who are living with, or are affected by, HIV work their way out of poverty.
Oxfam provide financial help in dire times, but more importantly they provide ongoing support to communities by supporting local artisans and producers by helping them sell their products and promoting fair trade. Oxfam helps create industry in poverty stricken areas, and for underprivileged people who need a helping hand.
Little voices who need a bigger voice on their side.
Little voices of women like me.
Did you know that buy purchasing products in Oxfam stores (or online) you are actually supporting these communities?
Next time you’re thinking of buying someone a gift, maybe think about a gift that keeps on giving long after it is received.
Maybe think about Oxfam.
Have you bought anything through Oxfam? How was your experience?