Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Disaster.
Everyone, whether from rich or not so rich backgrounds, can go to events welcoming adults and children based on raising money for specific Funds, or troubled areas and all put in and support what they are able in the hope that enough money can be raised to make a difference to the sufferers.
Thanks to the amount of organisational skills of many individuals these events are usually always worthwhile attending if nothing else but for raising money as well as the number of fun activities, raffles, auctions/silent auctions and fun that is generally had by all with the added bonus of all stomachs usually being well fed and watered. For most attendees they are aware that such events are for a good cause. But our question is do they fully appreciate what it is like to live in such turmoil as the areas that they are supporting on the day? For children who attend, they probably go along because it could be a family event, or perhaps there is not another option but are the children actually aware of what the evening is for, apart from having fun.
On occasions we are asked to create or paint such things as murals or to create something that is specific to the event, but what we prefer to do is something that is more visually thought provoking for the cause in hand. In this instance we decided to create the back drop of a small mural, where the scene was 'factual, eye opening and heart rendering'. As an addition to this board we had two blank ones asking for 'new homes to be painted and favourite foods and drinks' to be added to the other so that all involved could think what it must be like not to have either or anything apart from being surrounded by a mass of rubble as well as dreadfully heart wrenching sights of dead bodies who were unlucky enough not to survive the natural disaster and sadly the remaining survivors are without food or safe water to drink. Whilst painting this with the children there was a massive silence amongst them, a thoughtful silence, a sad silence that almost took them in to the middle of the painting.
How many people genuinely feel or know the pain or what such a disaster can bring for the individuals left behind, who often end up without their relatives and friends at hand. Well, participating in the mural itself was enough to provoke a childs thought pattern but to make the adults think more about the cause being supported we managed to come across a poem written by Alon Calinao Dy and a separate quote which we wrote on to the sky of the background of the mural and would now like to share them with you . . . .
Super Typhoon Haiyan
Why have you swept away our city Taclaban?
Why have you killed thousands of our countrymen?
including innocent children and women?
Look what you have done!
Complete devastation with no food and water
You have taken them one by one.
Why did you need to slaughter them?
Why do you have to show the world you're the deadliest?
Why do you come and bring us many tears?
Don't you know we're born as warriors without fears.
You have destroyed all our towns and cities
You have exposed our fight against irregularities
and now we have nothing left
But only allies who've helped us their very best
Alon Calinao Dy
Thank you Typhoon Haiyan for allowing survivors,
for the debris which we will use,
for the trees you kindly left standing,
for the animals and birds you kindly left behind
though scared and scarred.
For those of us you left behind we will survive . . . .
As an added bonus regarding the mural, the children read out the poem and quote during the evening . . . . you could almost have heard a pin drop . . and the goosebumps rising on each arm or back bone.
The total raised for this disaster on the evening was something near £1600 - how tremendous was that. . so a huge congratulations to those who organised it.
But one of the most heartwarming things was one of the Ministers who attended the event chose to read out part of the poem as well as the full quote at the Sunday service the next day. You could see the heads tilting with thoughts of sadness . . . self realisation of how lucky they are perhaps . . . . . thank you Margaret and Milton for spreading the word further afield that there are truly millions of people (and animals) worse off than ourselves . . . and how grateful we should feel for all or how ever little we have.