Peter Dybing, National First Officer, Covenant of the Goddess, who has participated in hands-on activism in places like earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince in Haiti, and in clean-up efforts on the Gulf Coast in the wake of the massive oil spill there, has sent out a brief message regarding sending assistance in the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami.
As disaster strikes again let me take this opportunity to remind the Pagan community of the lessons we learned when Haiti was severely damaged over a year ago.
Pagans from around the US and the world focused their giving on a small NGO that had operations established in Haiti and were able to respond quickly with established infrastructure and save lives. Dollars raised from our community went directly to the purchase of medical supplies. This emphasis on direct giving to a small organization ensured that our giving was focused and effective.
As we all witness the destruction in Japan, it is important to not make rash decisions and provide funding to organizations with poor track records of delivering services and use of funds. . I am urging the community to be wise in their giving. Yes, commit your self to an amount you are willing to give, set these funds aside, but wait until you or others identify an effective use for these funds.
Many of the large NGO’s that collected tens of millions for Haiti relief have yet to spend but a fraction of what they collected more than a year later. Both myself and other members of the community are attempting to establish ties with small organizations providing services in Japan. Hopefully our community will be able to identify groups who will directly serve the affected communities as they receive funding.
It was my privilege to witness funds raised by the Pagan community save many lives in Haiti, may we be as wise and effective as we respond to this current crisis.
In Service to the Goddess and all humanity,
Peter Dybing, National First Officer, Covenant of the Goddess
Many of us want to show solidarity with the people of Japan in this time of trial, but let’s be sure that any fiscal donation is going directly towards constructive, and ideally, Japanese-led service-oriented initiatives. I’m currently awaiting recommendations from a few different sources, and will post them here as I receive them. For now, you can receive basic information at the evolving Wikipedia page, and some resources at the Google Crisis Response page.