How To Show Solidarity And Support For The People Affected By A National Crisis

words Andre Wakowski

climate people care

Unsplash – CC0 License

Every so often, something goes disastrously wrong. The explosion in Beirut, the war in Ukraine, or the tsunami in Japan – we’ve all seen these things on the news. 

What’s challenging, though, is figuring out how to respond. While we feel emotionally moved by what we see on the TV, it’s not always clear what we should do. Most of us don’t have a personal disaster plan for how to respond and help people in other countries (or even our own). 

That’s where this post can help. We take a look at some of the things you can sensibly do, even if you’re a long way from the disaster zone. Here’s our advice. 

Donate Your Time, Money, Or Goods

The first and perhaps most important thing to consider is how you’ll donate your time, money or goods. Sites like the EAA explain how you can do this effectively.

Donating time could take the form of spreading awareness, raising money, or directly helping in rescue efforts or rebuilding if you can do so safely. Donating money is perhaps the easiest if you have it. Many charities and nonprofits have the skills and resources to make a meaningful difference on the ground. 

Lastly, you can donate things like blankets, toys, and food to disaster zones. These items make a material difference in the hours and days following a catastrophe as people rebuild. 

Educate Yourself On The Causes Of The Crisis

Another important thing to do is educate yourself on the causes of the crisis. You want to find out why it happened so you can help in the most effective way. The more you understand the challenges of the people experiencing it, the more likely you are to provide the things they need (whatever they happen to be). 

Learning about the causes of crises requires immersing yourself in:-

  • Courses
  • Expert commentary
  • Personal testimonies
  • Topical podcasts
  • Magazine and newspaper articles

Advocate For Political Change

You can also try advocating for political change. While some disasters are outside of the control of political systems, most are affected by them. Consider the observation of Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen who pointed out that famines don’t occur in democracies but happen all the time in dictatorships. Even if a disaster is not politically constructed, bad politics can lead to poor or ineffective responses.

Connect With People Directly Affected By The Crisis

You might also want to connect with people directly affected by the crisis. Showing people direct support is an excellent way to build connections and make the assistance you provide feel more “real.” 

Show Empathy

Finally, even if you don’t have many resources, you can show the affected people empathy for their situation. This approach helps to reduce suffering and lets those in the middle of a crisis know that the rest of the world cares about what’s happening. Even going on social media and changing your profile picture to something symbolic and indicative of the crisis can make a tremendous difference. 

So, how will you show support next time disaster strikes?


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