A new year has only just begun and many of us welcomed it in different ways. For some, the New Year has begun well and appears to be moving smoothly; for others, the year has been nothing but a nightmare.
We all gasped in horror at the devastation that rocked Queensland, Australia with the massive flooding that occurred. Our hearts went out to them as we felt their helplessness and sorrow in welcoming the New Year in such a manner. But not too long after, the torrential rains found its way to our tiny island and flooded the Northern, Eastern and North central provinces of the nation.
Over a million lives have been affected due to these rapid floods that have caused destruction. Many are without food, clean water, proper clothing, sanitation and medication. Children wait in desperation, eager to get back to school while their parents worry about what lies ahead.
But their troubles are not even remotely close to its end. These areas are now facing the threat of diseases such as dengue, A1H1 and the danger of harmful reptiles that have found new ‘homes’ owing to the floods. It is not so much the extent of the flood that captures our attention but the path of peril and distress it leaves behind. Nutrition and health are of great need and are lacking in these areas due to the prevailing atmosphere.
Who are these millions of people affected by such traumatic circumstances? Do we know them personally? Have we set eyes on them before? Apart from the few that do know someone, the rest of us have never seen or know them. But they reside in our country; they are a part of our nation; they are our people; our countrymen. The children affected are part of the future of this land. Shouldn’t we then step in to lend a hand and support our fellow citizens in this time of need?
They need your help, your support. We may be experiencing our own tumultuous situations in life at this very moment but let us strive to do what we can for our people. It is not the size or extent of our help and contributions that matter but our thoughtfulness and sincerity of heart: our way of responding to the need at hand and empathizing with those affected. The disaster ran its course: it is now time to respond. How we choose to do so is entirely in our hands.
STITCH is assisting with the flood relief efforts and will appreciate any support to make sure these people get all the help they need. A first dispatch has already been sent at the time of publication of this article. We hope to send items consisting of dry rations, medication, sanitary items and linen. In addition, we will be assembling Hygiene Packs and Back-to-School packs for the families who have been affected by the floods.
If you would like to contribute in any way or volunteer during this time, this would entail you having to help sort the relief items in Colombo & distribution in the affected areas with our partners, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.stitchmovement.com.