There is a rather large non-governmental organization in the United Kingdom called “OxFam.” I’m not sure why it has that name, but it does.
They publish a blog with a series of articles on it that wrestle with some very big and very deep issues relating to poverty, to the governmental impact on poverty and how to hopefully do it better. While I read it consistently, some of it is way too obtuse and hypothetical for me to see its relevance.
This one is not. They wrote a post yesterday that you can read here if you want to read the entire thing. Let me attempt to hit some high points or low points for you:
So if that’s not enough, what is enough? Their point is that if someone (a government etc.) is going to relocate people because they need that land, they need to do three things:
1. Compensate them for their troubles – anyone who has ever moved knows how disruptive it can be. It’s disruptive when you plan on it, it’s even more so when it is forced on you.
2. Help them – help them make the move to their new place. Don’t just say, “move, here’s money.” Instead, help them get through all of the logistics and the struggles of actually getting there.
3. Provide or help them obtain a place to move to. Don’t let them get stuck strictly in a refugee camp, but help them get reestablished with either a place of their own or a place they can rent.
In the article that OxFam wrote, they are focusing on one particular situation. A situation where a government or corporation needs to relocate people so that business can develop and expand.
Let me give you a couple of examples of where and how else it could happen:
What do all of those have in common? In the last month, they have all been hit by natural disasters of epic proportions.
There are millions of people who don’t know what to do, who don’t know how to do what needs to be done, who don’t have any way to help themselves. They lost everything in that natural disaster. If the governmental agencies or non-profits that are helping only do step 1, they aren’t really helping.
So, when you want to “do something” to help, make sure that the organization you are working with or want to support has all of those steps in mind. They might not do all of them, but they see them and understand them and work with others who can help with those parts.
Helping is more complex than it appears, but it can be done and done well, if it’s done carefully.
My friend, Susie Dixon, wrote this on her Facebook page today and it is being reprinted below with permission. I will have a few more comments below…….
Read it again – especially the last few sentences……
This protest is not against the military or disrespecting lives lost defending it. If you have studied the Revolutionary War, you’ll know that our country was founded on protests.
“These protests are speaking to all institutions who have bought into the lies of supremacy and inequality.” All, not just.
“They are speaking to all people to open their eyes.”
“No more. We stand for equality and freedom and justice for all.”
Not just the white people.
Thank you Susie.
“If you say a big hurricane is coming here, then it’s the end of the world for us,” he despaired, turning his gaze to the ground.
Please say a prayer for all who face Irma, but especially those who have no protection……