This isn’t a post about craft business. As its blog action day I just wanted to reflect a little on a very important issue.
2 months ago my partner, Al went to Thailand to work in a make-shift clinic run by volunteers on the Thai/Burmese border. Straight away he was faced with the effects of lack of funding in an over subscribed tropical clinic. These effects were only amplified by the fact that Al has spent his medical years training in the privileged West in hospitals which have access to the newest technological advances. In this tropical clinic many procedures are performed in very unsanitary conditions often without anaesthesia.
The most shocking thing that Al had to deal with was the discovery of 400 plus Burmese refugees living on a civil dump. These poor individuals (displaced by the usual crap that affects the small guy: warring parties and politics) literally have nowhere else to go and no welfare support whatsoever. These families have made themselves huts in which to shelter and they try to eke out a living by recycling plastic and other materials. I won’t go into what they eat…
Al and some of his colleagues raised some money to purchase first aid kits, immunisations, vitamins, and to buy boots for the children to protect their bare feet from infection. Looking at the scale of the problem (for this was only one dump of many and soon Al and his colleagues would leave for their Western homes), I think it might (at times) have been tempting to turn away in hopelessness…
Al says that it was a difficult thing to do, it was hard work, humbling and frustrating, but on the day when they gave out the boots to the children there was a lot of happiness on both sides! There’s no moral to this post. I just think it’s important to help those in need when you can, and the way in which you can help doesn’t matter so much, just that you do. Every little helps.
I think these little ones are pretty happy with their new boots 🙂 More pics in Al’s Flickr.