Tag Archives: relief effort

BYU column: Alum brings design talent to Australia’s forest fire relief effort Higher education | Instant News


In times of crisis, quotes by Fred Rogers (from “Mr. Rogers”) tend to make a round on social media: “When I was a child and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Find a helper. You will always find someone who helps. ‘”

As news of the devastating fire in Australia continued to roll, this message resonated with BYU graphic design alumni Hannah Decker – but in her apartment on the other side of the world, she wasn’t sure how to be a helper.

“I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness and only wished that there was something I could do,” Decker said. “I don’t have much money that I can contribute, and it seems like I can’t get on a plane and take care of all the animals as I want.”

It didn’t take long for Decker to realize that he had two strong resources available to him: his own professional skills and the skills of his fellow designers, including a network of talented colleagues from his tenure in the BYU Design Department. He began reaching out to designers he knew personally or with work he admired, planting seeds for the Australia-Aid fundraising project.

“I have an idea to make many different artists design postcards, and we can make money that way,” Decker said. “I started sending messages to people on Instagram, asking if they would be interested in contributing postcards. Some people are shocking – I think many people feel as helpless as I am, and this is a platform for us to share our feelings through our artwork. “

This is the case for Adam Rallison, who has remained in touch with Decker since their 2017 BYU graduation.

“I have many friends in Australia, and I am heartbroken over the things they post online,” he said. “Fire does not affect me personally in my daily life, but they really affect me emotionally and mentally.”

While the nonprofit project – especially one of these spheres – is outside Decker’s comfort zone, he feels strengthened by the efforts of those around him. Decker hopes that this project inspires others to not only “look for helpers” in the dark, but also step into the role itself.

“I hope that people will find courage from this project,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who you are – you can make a difference. All you need is an idea. I hope people see that they are important and needed and that the decisions they make are important. “

“I really believe in kindness and generosity,” Rallison added. “Those are things that bring us to the best part of humanity. Whatever challenges we face, we can find a way through it. We just need to be kind, depend on one another, and be generous with whatever we can offer. “

Read more about Australia-Aid on the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications website, http://cfac.byu.edu.

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Pakistani non-Muslim volunteers join the fight against COVID-19 | Instant News


KARACHI, Pakistan

Wearing gloves, and masks, a group of 15 volunteers gathered around each other, next to a pile of groceries in a large room in the eastern district of Karachi, the commercial capital of the country.

Among them was Sunil Harsi, one of the many Hindu volunteers who had joined hands with various aid agencies to provide rations, and sanitation products to low-income people amid a raging coronavirus outbreak that had placed the South Asian nuclear nation in lockdown which paralyzes.

The economic slowdown that hit, a direct result of the global COVID-19 outbreak, has especially struck nearly 25% of the country’s more than 200 million people, who live below the poverty line.

The country has reported a total of 58 deaths because the number of corona virus cases exceeded 4,070 on Wednesday.

Harsi, 32, a member of the city council for Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s main religious party, has actively participated in relief efforts carried out by the Al-Khidmat Foundation’s charity wing in the eastern district of Karachi for more than a month.

“I come here every day at noon to attend this meeting to cancel the plans for that day. One day we collected and packed the relief items donated by benefactors and distributed them the next day,” Harsi told Anadolu Agency.

He and his colleagues have been assigned to operate in two slums in the city of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, a middle-income group.

For the distribution of relief items, they mostly use motorbikes or small vehicles to pass through narrow streets in slums.

“We are not gathering people on the street to distribute rations to observe social distance. We are giving rations at the door,” Harsi said, adding, “I was born and raised in this area. Who needs and who does not, I know well “Button.

Interfaith harmony

Adnan Sadiq, a young Christian volunteer, who is also part of the group, regards his involvement in the operation as pride.

“I am proud to be a part of this [relief campaign]. In this way, I am donating something to the community, and my own community too, “Sadiq, 22, who joined the relief activity two weeks ago, told Anadolu Agency.

He praised his Muslim friends for bringing it.

“I feel proud because I am not a person who seeks help but I help others. It is all because of my Muslim friends whose selfless efforts for the masses who need inspired me to join them,” he said.

About a dozen Christian and Hindu volunteers from the area, he said, worked with different charities.

Seema Maheshwari, a human rights activist who was also involved in the distribution of rations among people in need in various parts of Karachi, thanked the Muslim community for helping with its efforts.

“I started my efforts in collaboration with my family and some friends with limited resources. But soon, my Muslim friends and benefactors joined hands with us,” Maheshwari, a Hindu by religion, told Anadolu Agency.

“I am truly grateful to my Muslim brothers and sisters who have trusted my efforts, and given us rations, and other important items for the poor masses,” he went on to say, adding that several other Muslim benefactors have assured him of their support .

So far, Maheshwari has distributed rations among 250 families in various parts of the city.

“We distribute rations among Hindus, Christians and even Muslims in need. This is not a matter of religion, race or community. It’s all about humanity,” he said.

Community link

The small Sikh community in the country also donated its share to provide assistance to low-income people, who were devastated by the economic crisis, a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Gurdwara Parbandhak Sikband Committee of Pakistan, an organization that handles religious affairs in the Sikh community in Pakistan, has given a number of gurdwara – places of worship – as isolation cells for patients suspected of having corona virus.

In addition, according to Charanjeet Singh, a community leader, rations and cooked food are distributed among people in need regardless of their religious affiliations, at gurdwaras in Karachi, Peshawar, Nanakana Sahib – the birthplace of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of their religion – and other district.

Haris and Sadiq also acted as a liaison between their foundation and their respective communities.

“I was also appointed as the person in charge of distribution of rations [by Al-Khidmat Foundation] among Hindus who are in need because I know my community more than anyone else, “said Harsi.

“I personally handed rations to around 150 Hindu families at their doorstep at my place,” he added.

Likewise, Sadiq was assigned to collect data and provide rations to Christian families in need in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčoperation.

Hindus and Christians make up 4% and 3% of Pakistan’s majority Muslim population, while the number of Sikhs in Pakistan is estimated to be between 30,000-40,000.


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