Thursday, May 08, 2008

Burma - help

The news from Burma, what little can get out, is appalling - it is now estimated that over 100,000 have died due to the cyclone. Rangoon is without power, many regions remain - days since the cyclone - still submerged, there isn't adequate drinking water and petrol is in short supply. Despite this, Rangoon's airport sits practically empty - most relief teams have not been issued permits and planes filled with disaster-relief experts and desperately needed supplies remain grounded, the Burmese government will not allow them to land.

Sarah Newhall
(my step-mother) runs PACT - a global community building, aid organizing and community-level impacting organization of enormous reach and integrity. PACT also happens to have been working in Burma for over a decade, with a number of development projects already flourishing including HIV/AIDS prevention and micro-lending programs specifically in the delta areas hit hardest by the cyclone. While the access of most organizations remains, for the time being, blocked by the military government, PACT is in place and so uniquely positioned to truly effect change and implement the aid immediately.

Please contribute what you can to PACT's initiative and pass this post along to friends and colleagues so that they may do the same. (For PACT's tracking purposes, please mention this blog.)

(In Burma in 1997, I trekked outside government boundaries into Shan State; I spent time in a Palong village. The Burmese were to a man/woman/child: kind, hopeful, resourceful – they stole my heart. The tragedies they've known, perpetrated by their own people - ignored by the world, have wrought a nation of all-too-human souls. Demanding aid without implementers, the Burmese government has essentially charged us as global citizens to get step in. The Burmese people must know the world cares deeply, and right the wrongs of our historical inaction.)

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