Things like this don't just fix themselves, or go away. The problem is even that much greater when you are just barely surviving as it is, then your village is destroyed in the middle of the winter.
Where do you start when this is what is left of your main street . This has been so difficult for so many . Even things like the first respondents do not have the necessary supplies and equipment to do the job The first round of donations collected included things like food and gloves for the people helping with the rescue and clean up.
I am really impressed with how so many have come forward to help out. Even people that have so little realize how much they do have compared to those who have lost everything. There are many including myself that would like to help, or would help if asked.. the problem is how can we help ?
We have a friend in Tokmok that has taken an active roll in the efforts.
You will recognize Marat as a community leader / activist that has been seen here on the blog many times helping families and people in need like Bubba Nadia who's home burned last spring.
Marat is continuing the efforts weeks after the disaster. The collection of things is now on some basic supplies to try to help those who survived start over . Today he shared about how a school in Tokmok has raised money and supplies to help kids from the village get back to school. Marat writes ....
"Students and teachers at school gymnasium #1 collected school supplies (Notebooks, pens, pencils, albums), a bag of things, Soap-washing and cleaning products, and transferred 12700 Som,($185) also our friend-Canadian John Wright again Wired us $ 100"
Twice now we have been blessed to have some funds to send him in support. Jengish has been helping out buy bringing the funds to purchase items that are in current need, but not collected in the donations. I am sure that there is so much more that we could do to help. We have given $200 so far and I am starting to feel bad about that.
I am almost afraid to get into the entire refugee debate here , but would like to point out that to resettle a refugee to Canada is upwards of $48 000 a person. This figure is based on the governments projected budget of 1.2 billion to resettle 25 000 of the current 65 000 000 refugees in the world. It is great to be able to offer this fresh start to people, and most of all it makes us feel like we are doing something, but with the move comes a lot of stress adapting to a totally new way of life and new culture. Now lets put this into perspective .. a family of six in Kyrgyzstan could be resettled into a new home with furniture for about $10 000 to $12 000. $2000 a person is just a fraction of the cost, and WAY less stress and disruption to what they know.
I know that not all refugees have the option of being re settled in their own country or one with similar culture. I know that for some the only option is to get excepted into refugee programs around the world. I am NOT in disagreement with our government working to help bring vetted refugees. I would just ask that as we are fighting for the rights of refugees, we not over look some very real and tangible ways that we can make a difference. This is a global issue. People around the globe
( including some in our own cities and towns ) need our help.
We can't always wait for the government to do the right thing, that is such a difficult task as we all feel differently so it would be impossible for them to please everyone. BUT we can all follow our own hearts and do what WE can do to reach out to the hurting, helpless and the lost.