Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Saturday, March 06, 2004
 
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: The Whole Earth is One Family

In the spirit of giving to others in the celebratory mood of this festive weekend, I wanted to highlight a few good causes that I've come across in the last few weeks.


Feed the Hungry

Scott sent me the following quote from Gandhi recently: "There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread."

  • If you're in college, check out the Collegiate Click Drive, started by my friend Benjamin Brandzel.

  • You can support Oxfam directly. "To achieve the maximum impact on poverty, Oxfams link up their work on development programs, humanitarian response, lobbying for policy changes at national and global level."

  • You can support the UN's World Food Programme directly. "In 2002, WFP fed 72 million people in 82 countries, including most of the world's refugees and internally displaced people. "

  • If you're so inclined, check out Food Not Bombs and Food For Life, which both provide vegetarian meals worldwide. The latter has done some particularly impressive work in South Africa and Russia, and its goal is "to not allow anyone within a ten mile radius of the temple to go hungry."

    This may not be the world's best cutting board, but I thought it looked kind of neat.

    Shelter the Cold

  • On February 24, 2004 a devastating earthquake hit Morocco, killing over 500 people and making thousands homeless. Dave writes from Morocco, "It's been amazing watching the outpouring of help from Moroccans." On Dec. 26, 2003 an earthquake hit Bam, Iran, killing 41,000 people; injuring approximately 30,000 and leaving upto 75,000 homeless. You can help the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies help others survive freezing nights. You can also read about how great donkeys are.

  • Habitat for Humanity builds houses for the homeless. The National Coalition for the Homeless maintains a directory of local service organization.

  • The United Nations High Commission on Refugees helps displaced people fleeing from war, genocide, and civil unrest. Current crises include attacks and bombings in Sudan, civil unrest in Haiti, and the constant turmoil of Afghanistan.

    If you even pick just one of these links and give a few dollars, you'll be making a big difference---remember that when it comes to food and shelter, especially in the developing world, a little money goes a long way. But even if you can't spare any change right now, keep them in mind for the next time you're flush with cash or need to celebrate something--and pass them on to your friends and family who might have better resources. Your time is also valuable, and maybe by clicking around some of these links you will be inspired to come up with ways to share a little of it with the world. It is my humble opinion that one should try to help because it's the right thing to do, and not let oneself get all worked up about how it still won't save the world. Yes, that's right, it won't. All of these problems will continue. But if one does good out of a sense of innate duty, for the cause of goodness itself, rather than doing good solely as the cause of some anticipated (and potentially obstructed) effect, one both avoids the cynicism that results from disappointment and, in a sense, at least helps goodness itself to be in the world.

    Well, it's worth a blog at least. Happy 518.
     


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    Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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    Vinod's Blog
    War and Piece
    Nollind Whachell
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