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Feeling helpless

(34 Posts)
Luckygirl Wed 07-Dec-16 10:37:12

I caught the tail end of a news bulletin on BBC 1 yesterday - it was about the fate of children in a middle east country - I do not even know which one as I came to it late.

I sat and watched the suffering of these children and just felt despair and above all else total impotence.

We can do absolutely nothing about these dreadful situations. Giving to charity is a hit and miss affair - you just don't know where the money goes and which corrupt officials in these countries are syphoning off their cut. We can do nothing about Britain's involvement in the arms trade.

I almost felt envious of those generations pre-global media who just got on and tried to lead decent lives. That sounds very selfish I know - but what the hell can we do? sad

merlotgran Wed 07-Dec-16 10:41:22

It was Yemen, Luckygirl. It's just too dangerous for relief workers to get to those who need so much help. A heartbreaking situation.

mumofmadboys Wed 07-Dec-16 10:43:44

I think the big charities such as Christian Aid, Oxfam and Red Cross are probably safe to give money too. Also Water Aid.

Anniebach Wed 07-Dec-16 10:49:01

Untill human life becomes more important than money we can only weep.

merlotgran Wed 07-Dec-16 10:55:23

I agree about giving to charities and then not knowing if it reaches those in need.

South Yemen/Aden was badly bombed last year. Among those who were able to escape to Djibouti were charity workers who quickly set us some 'routes' to raise funds. I've been supporting a fund run by contacts on a facebook site. We were all at school in Aden in the late fifties/sixties. The money raised is being used to re-equip schools with essentials so children can get some normality back into their lives.

M0nica Wed 07-Dec-16 12:15:43

Give to the Disaster Emergency Committee, a committee of all the key emergency charities Medecin sans Frontieres, Oxfam, Red Cross, Cafod etc. This money goes to them and they deliver the emergency disaster aid directly to the victims.

I think much of the talk about corruption is overdone. Essentially the bigger the donor and the bigger the project the greater the chance of corruption. Big dictators get rich on government to government aid. Give to some of the smaller charities; Practical Action, Cafod, or those with a specific remit like Medecin sans Frontiere and you can be reasonably sure that the money goes direct to the victim and does not percolate down through sticky fingers.

I think a lot of people use the corruption arguments as an excuse to justify turning their backs on those suffering.

I do NOT mean you, Lucky Girl

Luckygirl Wed 07-Dec-16 12:19:36

Thank you for telling me it was Yemen. So which organisation can we donate to that would really get through to those suffering children and families? MSF? - are they active there?

Luckygirl Wed 07-Dec-16 12:26:04

It looks as though MSF are having to withdraw from their medical aid in Yemen because it is too dangerous. I have chosen the Save the Children appeal specifically directed at children in Yemen. Let us hope they are able to help.

gillybob Wed 07-Dec-16 13:03:26

I totally agree with you Anniebach Money and possessions always seemed to be valued higher than life itself.

Forgive me for saying this Luckygirl I hate myself for even thinking it, but I too saw that news item and it was The Yemen. I couldn't help but notice that most of the adults/parents looked quite well fed. Some even looked quite fat.

Anniebach Wed 07-Dec-16 14:06:16

i realised years ago that which ever charities I donate to I have to trust , if fifty pence of every pound doesn't reach those who need help I accept fifty pence does , better something than nothing . It's all I can do

petra Wed 07-Dec-16 14:33:50

luckygirl I'm exactly like you Re pre global information. I'm always saying to my OH " I wish I hadn't read that / seen that" of course he replies " well don't read it" And then I feel quilty if I don't because I feel that I should be informed of what's happening.
gillybob Your not alone in the comment Re the healthy looking adults.

rosesarered Wed 07-Dec-16 14:40:40

It's good to be well informed, but there is sometimes too much of it! This leads to feelings of despondency and helplessness.Once you know that however, try and limit yourself to one lot of news per day (all this rolling news is ridiculous.)

Granny23 Wed 07-Dec-16 15:29:13

An alternative is to help the refugee families who are now in our midst. Today, a member of our local refugee support group brough a family of Kurdish Syrian refugees into our Christmas pop-up shop to choose some warm clothes/toys etc. The family apparently all love jigsaw puzzles so the were happy to find many there. Biggest surprise, with much hilarious miming, was that the Mum was looking for, and found! a bikini as she has been introduced to the women-only swimming club.

I know it is only a drop in the ocean but helping the families who have been lucky? enough to come here is another answer to the need to DO SOMETHING.

petra Wed 07-Dec-16 19:18:39

And more horror, this time it's Nigeria. Millions are starving, the UN estimate that 14 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian aid.
This isn't a famine, it's man made. It's to to with Boko Haram and the Nigerian army.

Jalima Wed 07-Dec-16 20:02:04

It was Yemen
and heartbreaking, those poor little babies

All we can do is hope that money gets through in the form of aid.
Granny23 I have been supporting a small charity which takes no expenses, no salaries but the organisers are driving themselves so hard they are in danger becoming ill themselves.

There are some very good people helping out in the wider world, unfortunately some places are just no-go areas.

silverlining48 Thu 08-Dec-16 10:58:20

granny23 you are right to say that even little things, where ever we are, does help. my daughter in Berlin is very involved with syrian refugees and has even given a home to one who has shared their tiny flat for the last year. She works hard to raise money to help and has done a lot of very good things because although they are physically safe now they had to leave everything behind and have nothing.
In terms of charities, there are many, but one which I understand is reliable is MSF. They have always gone into very difficult areas and recently lost a number of their brave and committed volunteers.

suttonJ Thu 08-Dec-16 11:14:06

Lucky girl, please look at supporting CAAT, Campaign against the Arms Trade. They are a great little charity and not very well known. Sometimes I feel they are a lone voice in a mad world, but for me, they are the best we have.

Disgruntled Thu 08-Dec-16 11:48:43

I know what you mean, Lucky. It's overwhelming. We can just do our bit. I like the sound of CAAT, SuttonJ, thanks for that.

inishowen Thu 08-Dec-16 11:54:31

I can't help the children in faraway countries but I'm helping Womans Aid. The local police station is collecting gifts for the women and children and delivering them to their secret house. That's all I can do, give directly to them, knowing it goes straight to them, no admin costs.

foxie Thu 08-Dec-16 11:56:01

Some years ago I got talking to an elderly couple just siting quietly holding hands on a bench in a shopping mall. They were from a middle eastern country and had come here as refugees seeking sanctuary. They had left everything behind, all their loved ones, family and friends for a life in a country where they knew no one and didn't speak the language. When I asked what they liked about England the woman in halting English said "where there are no bullets and no bombs" So this situation is not new, it's because we're better informed.

Lewlew Thu 08-Dec-16 12:32:42

It is terrible. My American friend is an educator who sets up schools in emergency/confict/famine areas and was in Yemen in 2013. Very difficult then. All the work her organisation did has now been 'undone' and girls are not getting educated. sad

There is a very beautiful area she visited, the island of Socotra. Here's a piece about it from about ten years ago.

Victoria08 Thu 08-Dec-16 13:41:46

I agree. MSF are a very worthy charity which I donate to on a monthly basis.

They will always go where help is needed. Every month they send out a newsletter to inform you of their work and the aid they are providing.

You are given a donor registration number so you know the money is being used appropriately. It makes for a very interesting read, and you realise just what and who is helping in different countries. Give as much as you can afford.

BRedhead59 Thu 08-Dec-16 15:14:30

I was recently hijacked at the check- out in Tesco by a lady offering to pack my bags for a breast cancer charity. I told her that I had once done the race for life and had sent a cheque for £50 to the charity I had a letter back saying Thank-you for your cheque for £27.50. Mistakes happen I just forgot about it until I read that 40% of the women (mostly) who run do not send their money in. I was shocked.
On the One Show the other day they warned about collectors in the street shaking a tin as many are bogus.
I am now very careful - I give to CIN every year and donate to charity shops.
When I read about the drug companies yesterday ripping off the NHS for epilepsy drugs I could have cried.
I know there are many lovely, kind, thoughtful, generous people - I try and focus on that.

Diddy1 Thu 08-Dec-16 15:51:53

Saw Aleppo yesterday on the news, almost nothing left of that City, bombs everywhere, civilians, children, I believe some countries are telling the countries who are doing the bombing that there should be a cease fire to let people be rescued from this mayhem.
Donations: I wish there was a guarantee for the money going to where it should go to, sadly not

minxie Thu 08-Dec-16 16:12:30

The CEO of Oxfam gets paid £121,000 per year as do many of the big charities. So I refuse to pay his salary. Then I'm afraid these people who need my help don't get it. It's very sad