Processing donations the other day for the non-profit I work with, there was a note from a donor enclosed with a cyclone relief check that said…”I know it’s just a drop in the bucket…..” I’ve thought about that for a few days, and I agree. What small groups like the one I work with can do is very small. Helping those trying to survive the circumstances of Cyclone Nargis and the government-induced disaster that has followed it requires everyone working together (governments, big NGO’s, local grass roots organizations…everyone who can do anything!). But, if the “drop in the bucket” is the only drop in your bucket, then it counts. If you need clean water, food, medical supplies, and you have nothing, anything that comes to make your bucket less empty matters. Small groups working with networks of locals can help in less conspicuous, more mobile ways than the big players.
Some quotes from a report passed on by a friend in Thailand received from people she personally knows who are working with a network in the delta area:
… “We bought rice, noodles, blankets, longyi (for men and women), drinking water and medicine and bring along….
While waiting, I met many of those who lost their family members. Some of them left alone. Some lost all the family members and also all relatives. Most of the houses in their village were destroyed, but did not get death toll from them either…(The death toll is high at the villages close to the sea.)…
Those helping have man power, but need financial support to bring more students and let them stay in the villages. They are working closely with the groups networking in the delta. Attached letters are from those who received your contributions. I trust them as I saw they are doing the relief works reaching directly to the victims….”
God bless those doing great things, in big ways, and those who are putting drops in the buckets of those whose buckets are empty!!
Here’s a couple of this morning’s articles on the situation:
http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=12354 (Cyclone refugees being sent home from camps)
http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=12366 (Burma government on “open access”)