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By Sri Muljadi
Ex-Co Member of the NUS MBA Social Impact Club
GETTING INVOLVED: How to help Haiti On 12th January 2010, Haiti experienced a major catastrophic earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, which effectively destroyed major infrastructures in the country, affecting an estimate of three million people and killing hundreds of thousands in the process. When I heard about the news, I was astounded and deeply saddened because I can strongly relate to this calamity with the Aceh tsunamis in my country - Indonesia - back in 2004. When I saw the images on CNN and various media, my heart immediately went out to all the victims and survivors. I thought to myself and wonder how they will recover in the future.
Right now, the NUS MBA Social Impact Club is working with the NUS Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy, together with the Utiba organization so that NUS students and faculty can contribute. Every dollar helps to bring urgent food and to those most in need in Haiti after the devastating earthquake. Working with Utiba and the UN's World Food Program, a large percentage of every dollar donated goes straight to Haiti in the form of urgent food supplies, with very little waste on administration or other expenses. I strongly urge the NUS community to act now in order to give those people a ray of hope and sunshine amidst the black clouds surrounding them at present.
I do believe that when a country is struck with a tragedy so heartrending, it is necessary for societies to lend a hand in rescue efforts either direct or indirectly, which ties in with the perception of humanity and world solidarity. I learned from Indonesia's own experience in dealing with countless tragedies that things may seem bleak at first, with all the casualties and hopelessness that surround the impacted people. However, when aid started to pour in, suddenly we could see a ray of hope. Indonesians have been deeply grateful for the countless concern and assistance pouring in from all over the world, be it in the forms of monetary aids or humanitarian efforts. We were able to regain our spirit to continue our lives, rebuild our communities and live a better life.
Similarly with Haiti, I do believe that with sufficient aid from the rest of the world, their people will be able to restore their country faster. Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince is badly destroyed and their governmental cores are deeply disrupted; hence the need for outside aids to help them maintain political and economic stability in their country. Currently food supplies are very limited. Moreover, many villages and remote areas are still unreachable due to the terrible road conditions. Electrical network, communications network, air, land and sea transport have been damaged by the earthquake, severely hampering the humanitarian effort. This tragedy may seem far, far away from my life here in Singapore. However, since Indonesia had experienced such tragedy before and received so much from the rest of the world, I have equal compassion to do the same for other countries in return.