How far will your donation go?
Seriously, the usual course of action that the average Pinoy do is send some canned food and instant noodles to those people that need help. Oo, maganda yan. May pagkain na sila. NOW WHAT?! Ikaw ba naman ang dumaan kay Yolanda -- sa tingin mo may mga can opener at gamit panluto ang karamihan sa pupuntahan ng mga donasyon? They need more than that people, so think ahead -- far ahead. Think of ways to help them not only in the short run but for the long run. Let's say you donated a pack of relief goods containing food. You give rice - check. Noodles - check. Canned food -check. Now all you have to do is pack it up and send it to the victims, preferably with a smiley sticker to lighten them up or an inspirational quote you find appropriate for the situation. You pile it along with the hundreds (if not thousands) of the same relief packages. And you think the job's done and you can now leave it at that.
But the reality sinks in once the package reaches those who need it most. People lost lives of loved ones - lost homes - lost almost everything they have. News say that power is down, there is little to no water, medical supplies are still low. It's been a week and it's been a slow week for help if we are to compare it to the international standards. Yes, a proof that we are indeed stuck as a developing country. Now once those people get the goods, they'll thank whoever gave it to them (and we'd prefer that no politician's name will be placed on the bags). They open it up back to wherever they are temporarily situated. Wow. They got rice, noodles, and canned food! And after that they fall into a blank face, staring at the reality that life is harsh even with the goods at hand. Baka nga naman madami silang malinis na tubig 'dun? Para sa mga nawalan ng tirahan, maghahanap pa sila ng kaldero, tubig, apoy o kung saan man na pwedeng lutuan ng bigas. Hanap ulit ng tubig at lulutuan ng noodles. Titignan ang lata at pupukpukin kasi wala silang pambukas ng lata. Syempre tama nga naman na kailangan nilang magsipag para makakain, pero sobra naman yata yan. Buti na lang kung madali lang makakakuha ng mga gamit na kailangan. Ayos din kasi ang trip natin pagmagdo-donate. "Pahirapan pa natin sila ng kaunti bago makakain."
Nevertheless the donations were of good intent. Thank you. But we can do more. So much more. We know donations are rushing in from all around the world (because the local government is too slow in giving help), and there's more help to come.
Help comes in all forms - cash, relief packages, etc. Hopefully we could give more of these to them.
POTABLE WATER - Para saan yang bigas at noodles kung hindi maluluto? At kailangan din nilang uminom. Must-have ito para sa ating mga kaXambayan.
BISCUITS / BREAD - Most of the time, hindi mo na kailangang magbukas ng lata para dito. Basic carbs like noodles. Go foods.
PROCESSED FOOD IN SACHET OR EASY-OPEN CANS - Madami na ang bumibenta ng corned beef na wala sa lata. Ulam na nasa pakete. 'Yun na lang please. Mas magaan pa at mas madaling buksan. Kung lata talaga ang gusto may mga Easy-Open cans din naman.
MEDICINE AND HYGIENE ITEMS - Sa kalagayan nila, bawal magasakit. Kung kayang mag donate ng Multivitamins, 'yun na lang ang ibigay. Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, band aids, rubbing alcohol, at kung anu pa ang pwedeng magamit para sa kalinisan at kaligtasan.
Sa mga magbibigay pa rin po ng mga canned goods, lagyan na din ng instructions kung paano buksan. LIke this tip from Bogart the Explorer.
MAGTULUNGAN TAYO, MGA KAXAMBAYAN!
Pinoy na Pinoy.