How You Can Help - What to do
- Donate money
Giving money is the best way to help in a time of crisis. Donated money enables professional relief organisations to purchase exactly what disaster victims need most urgently. With your money, relief supplies can be purchased as near to the disaster location as possible ensuring that local (often poor) economies benefit. That way, the supplies arrive quickly, transport and storage costs are kept to a minimum and the goods are guaranteed to be suitable for local conditions. Donating money is the best way to help because it ensures that agencies will have enough funding to deliver effective aid. Irish people have been incredibly generous when asked to respond to emergency situations in the past. Their support has enabled aid agencies to respond to disasters, and to make their information and skills available where they are most needed. We will continue to need this money to support our work. You can check out the websites of the aid agencies to find out how to make a donation. A list of registered charities is available from the Dochas website: www.dochas.ie
- Volunteer your services
Aid agencies need people to help in a number of different ways. In the aftermath of a humanitarian disaster, it is vital that the response of the international community is immediate and well co-ordinated in order to save as many lives as possible. Therefore volunteers usually have previous disaster or international experience and technical skills (e.g. medicine, communications, water and sanitation, engineering) and are usually from neighbouring countries not affected by the disaster. Those with the necessary skills and experience who would like to volunteer should contact the Irish aid agencies If you want to prepare yourself so that you can work in disaster situations in the future, contact the Irish Aid information centre or an aid agency to ask for advice about how to receive relevant training, which will equip you with the right skills. Training is available from a variety of institutes in Ireland.
- Donate regularly to an aid agency
By donating regularly to an aid agency you help them to create an emergency relief fund, which will enable the agency to respond quickly and effectively in a time of crisis. Furthermore many emergencies around the world do not gain the attention of the media and are often termed 'forgotten emergencies'. Aid agencies continue to work in these areas and a constant source of income enables the agency to continue to support the relief efforts even when the TV cameras are not present.
- Get involved in a campaign
Campaigning for a fairer world can reduce the vulnerability of poor people to the effects of natural disasters. Very often the root causes of human disasters are related to injustice. Developing countries need to be given the opportunity to prosper through fairer trade conditions and the cancellation or renegotiation of crippling debt repayments as well as receiving increased financial assistance from the developed countries. Countries like Ireland have an obligation to help create these fairer conditions. You can contribute to this by joining campaigns organised by Irish aid agencies.
- Tell others
If you are a teacher or youth worker, engage young people in activities and discussions around the issues related to emergencies. Many of the aid agencies have resource materials with ideas on how best to do this. If people in your workplace are looking to respond when an emergency arises, organise a briefing on the most appropriate kind of aid and explain why. The information in this leaflet will help you to do this