Thursday, October 13, 2005

Compassion Fatigue? Responding To The Earthquake in Pakistan

In a recent e-mail, my son, Tim, living and working in Poland, made me aware of a close friend of his from Pakistan who is working feverishly to help her ancestral village of Mansera near the epicenter of the earhquake. In my response to Tim, I shared the following thoughts:

"I fear 'compassion fatigue' may be setting in among many Americans. People gave spontaneously and generously to the Tsunami relief last year, ditto for Hurricane Katrina. There was a more muted response to Hurricane Rita, and I have not even heard people talking about the earthquake in Pakistan."

Tim's friend, Tania, shares her perspective on the tragedy in Pakistan and her personal efforts to make a difference:

"As you all know there was a devastating tragedy that occurred in Pakistan this past weekend. An unprecedented earthquake destroyed a major portion of the country. The Government of Pakistan is relating that over 40,000 Pakistanis are dead and the numbers will climb. I have regrettably heard that phrase too often in recent times “the numbers will climb”. Can’t say that these people are just numbers for me. I am very thankful that my family was miraculously saved during this tragic strike on lives. As my grandfather told me this morning “I am alright, but there are 40,000 people dead around me”. Trying not to get unproductively emotional on this, however, I would like to appeal to the charitable side of all of you. These people are in desperate need and I believe that making a contribution is crucial at this point in time. My friends Madiha Tariq, Samiha Barkat and I have organized a secure funding mechanism to provide immediate assistance to the village of Mansera. It is a village outside the city of Islamabad and I know many residents of Mansera. This was the Epicenter of this disastrous earthquake and has left ONE HUNDRED Percent of the inhabitants without anything. It is also sad to report that a lot of the survivors are the children of people who have perished under homes and businesses. They are currently sitting in the wide open with little to no relief services. Our plan is to send money to Pakistan via my family who is prepared with reinforcements to purchase much needed items like blankets (surprisingly the terrain in Pakistan in these months undergoes very harsh climates), food, tents and other shelter providing items. The smallest donation will make a much bigger difference then we realize. I say if we can get one blanket on one child, we will have accomplished a great triumph! As we are all so spread throughout this country the most efficient way to contribute would be by Mail. Anyone interested in participating in this attempt to help please mail a check to the following address and I will personally guarantee that it reaches the ones who need it the most and as immediately as possible.

Checks Payable to: Tania Tanvir
Mail to: Tania Tanvir
Abt Associates
4800 Montgomery Lane
Bethesda, Marlyand 20814

* * * * *

I normally advocate channeling resources through recognized agencies - like the Red Cross, but in this case, I trust Tim's confidence in Tania and her family's commitment to help their fellow residents and neighbors in Mansera in a timely fashion. I plan to send a check today to Tania.

The telling of the Parable of the Good Samaritan was prompted by a man asking Jesus: "Who is my neighbor?"

After he had told the now familiar story of the Good Smaitan, Jesus asked his interlocutor: "Which of these . . .was a neighbor to the man?"

The expert in the law replied: "The one who had mercy on him."

Jesus told him: "Go and do likewise." (Luke chapter 10)



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Anonymous said...

Hi, I know this was writen sometime ago but by any chance is your son still friends with Tania? my name is colleen and i grew up with a girl with the same name basically i'm wondering if it is the same person and if so do you have new contact information to reach her. please contact me a
Colleen MacDonald