The dos and don'ts of helping flood victims
As Pakistan struggles to regain its footing from devastating and widespread floods, we are seeing Pakistanis rise to the aid of their fellow country-people. Donations are pouring in, volunteers are helping those in need and overall, political leaders have stepped up their efforts to raise awareness.
Amidst this, however, we're coming across footage that point to clear mistakes being made during the relief efforts. And when we say clear, we mean quite obvious actions that we would have thought wouldn't need to be pointed out.
So in good faith, as people continue to help those in need, here's a list of dos and don'ts:
DO provide food and other goods for the people displaced and affected by the floods.
DON'T turn it into a scripted moment where they feel like props, not human beings. Handing them a juice box and then asking them to pose with it is demeaning. They are not content for social media photos; they're humans who need our help and support.
DO take pictures or videos of yourself/your group/organisation carrying out relief work if you want to spread awareness, call for donations or ensure transparency.
DON'T turn it into a circus with more camera-people than affectees. Also, ask if they are okay being photographed.
DO strategise on how to reach hard to access areas and villages to provide bags of rations. You can get in touch with large-scale NGOs, local administration and planners in the area.
DON'T throw sacks of rations out of helicopters, causing them to explode on impact, wasting all the food. Also, don't try to reach difficult areas without any planning so that you yourself become the person who needs help.
DO donate to reliable and trustworthy organisations.
DON'T shame people for sending necessary products to people affected by the floods. Let's only build on the work being done and not digress from the big picture.
DON'T make light of the situation and compare flooded areas to developed cities like Venice. No one is laughing, it only comes off as highly insensitive.
DO listen to what people have to say, empathise and really try to understand what they need from you in that situation.
If you're looking for ways to help and donate to the relief efforts, click here.