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Check the NGOs you support

Well done China

Inside the Burmese disaster areas - the reality

 

Check the NGOs you support

Dear Editor,
With reference to the letter from Dorothy Reed recently, whilst I have sympathy with her concerns, not all local NGOs are the same.
I am the Director of Rejoice Thailand, and we post our accounts, showing income and detailed expenditure on our web page. We encourage potential donors to visit our clinics to see where the money is spent, we also supply donors with receipts when requested.
My advice to donors is not to be put off by the actions of a few but to investigate any NGO that you wish to assist.
Steve Hallam
Director, RejoiceThailand.org

 

Well done China

Dear Editor,
Within two hours - Premier Wen Jiabao - was on the scene of the Chinese Earthquake disaster. Take note Myanmar. Also take note President Bush - we still remember Katrina. We all ‘have a go’ at China - and in many cases - it is justified.
However, if the world gives praise when it is due, perhaps they (China) will be more willing to ‘do the right thing’ over Myanmar, Sudan etc etc.
Well done Premier Wen Jiabao!
David R.


Inside the Burmese disaster areas - the reality

E-mail received by Seven Fountains from aid worker

Dear Friends,
Thanks for all the inquiries of support and sympathy. The people of Burma need you and your sympathy. I am deeply sucked into the work now, as after the day I went to the national office and brought them for a meeting. We had an urgent meeting and a committee on Myanmar disaster relief is formed. I am helping in training the volunteers, working on projects, assessments and also in the writing of the appeals. For the last eight days, I was on the move; today I returned. I do hope I will have time to write a longer report. Today we had a meeting with supporters, tomorrow I will be training another 40 volunteers. Since they do not have experience in meeting disasters of this magnitude, even my little experience is useful to them.
So I am very often out with them, planning, training and visiting sites. Suffice to say, Burma weeps today and the tears of the innocents wound our sensibilities. I have seen the suffering of these graceful people. When nature colludes in compounding their agony, hearts get mutilated with despair. I just returned from one of the most affected areas, nearly 30,000 people met a watery grave. In Kyalatt, Phaypon, Bogala and the villages around, thousands perished. I was far off in Phaypon, down the Irrawaddy River, with the bodies of human beings and cattle floating alongside the boat, when we reached a destroyed village. We were the first outsiders to reach them. Cyclone Nargis bombed them, flattened them and left them rattled with their spirits rattled.
In a sadistic show of ‘shock and awe’, Nature attacked the hapless men and women at night, from the seas, from the river and from the air. Menacingly howling winds, at a blistering pace tore through settlements, as fighter bombers would have bombed. It is a sad sight. To my eyes, which have seen the Tsunami and the Kashmir earthquake, this is really overwhelming. Nature unleashed an orgy of death and mayhem, wounding an already suffering population.
Yesterday, with tears in their eyes, women explained how the waves snatched their babes from their bosoms. A mighty tidal wave ensured that the tears remained as the children embraced watery graves. As our boat moved along, the body of a five old boy drifted across, the child of a mourning mother somewhere; the boy drifting in unknown waters, waiting for a burial, unwept and unsung. People do not have drinking water. Their settlements were crushed into pieces; the decaying debris in the waterlogged terrain emanates a foul smell. There is no food; children were biting at coconut shells as we went in. Dead animals are spread out near the debris. The people neither have the energy nor the will to bury them. There were many refugees, living in roofless churches and monasteries. Help has not reached them.
We are doing what is possible in Burma. For the last two days we have been reaching out to the starving people. With diesel prices skyrocketing and fuel not available, transport is still a problem. There is still no electricity and water even in Yangon. Burma is in deep mourning. The count has crossed 80,000 and is still rising. The majestic Irrawaddy was the mother to these people. It gave them food, and was the transport waterway, winding majestically through some of the most beautiful rice fields in the world. The delta was an alluring beauty before Irrawaddy fell to the evil charms of Nargis. The mother became the monster, the beauty became a beast. The lands and fields were ravished on that night. The people will take ages to come to normalcy. That needs great fellowship, not only in material needs.
I will keep updating as and when internet is available. Be assured the people of Burma are grateful to every simple good deed. In a remote corner, wading through slush mud, we reached a small broken church, where famished refugees were waiting for outsiders. When we reached there, they welcomed us with gratitude and served a cup of Burmese tea, the only thing they had to give.