p r o j e c t p r i v i l e g e

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

p r o j e c t p r i v i l e g e

Alright guys, I wanted to start this off sooner but could not find the time.
Work, work, work and yes, I procrastinate too. We all know of the quakes which hit
Pakistan. It's been a terrifying year filled with disasters, hasn't it? This particular quake has resulted in more than 25 000 dead, 63 000 injured and 2,5-million homeless in Pakistan alone (and I have not updated this figure yet).
I quote from an Associated Press report:

"The challenges of responding to this disaster are more difficult, in some
ways, than the Dec. 26 tsunami that killed more than 200,000 along the coast
of the Indian Ocean," (Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general and
emergency relief coordinator) said.

The earthquake will leave fewer deaths but more injured and potentially
more homeless, he said, while badly damaged roads and the approach of winter
are difficult obstacles."

Here's another one:

*But there was a dire prediction from the United Nations that not enough
winter-weight tents existed to shelter survivors from the quake, which the government says killed more than 41 000 people in Pakistan alone.

"It is fair to say the indication is that there are not enough tents in the world
available to support the requirements," Andrew MacLeod, chief operations officer in
the UN emergency response centre in Islamabad, told AFP. UN spokesperson Amanda Pitt said the supply of tents had been exhausted in Pakistan, which she said was the world's biggest producer of winter tents.

"The whole thing here is a nightmare. I know it sounds dramatic to say this but it
really is a case of nature overwhelming man," Pitt added. - (SA)

In light of this, and in the hope that you all are not suffering from donation fatigue (a serious problem this year), I am trying to organise a fundraising do either next week or after that. That will be the second phase. The first will be the services, we will be finding organisations & a list of stuff we can help them obtain. Let us be your go-between, or help us get the things required.

Let me put it very very simply lah, yah. This will be called Project Privilege. Because let's face it, most of us and our peer groups are living generally comfortable lives and even if we are not, we are privileged to be in this country, which except for the little lash from the tsunami, is free from the monster natural disasters.

I have some friends who have expressed their interest to help. We're not thinking
explosive, grand things here, we just want to organise similar-minded people to help

This is aimed at our peer group, acquaintances, friends, family, family of
friends, 4, 5, 6-degrees of separation..you get the picture. Basically, using
our tech/net savvy generation to use avenues like friendster, multiply, email,
blogs etc to get the news across. It is the least we can do, if you think
about it. If this all goes well, maybe we can do more stuff under the project if need be in the future. If let's say one of you knows, for example, a certain group, a child with a hole in the heart, or other cases, and we take an online vote on whether we adopt that particular project, we can raise money for it. simple. All our generation has to do, is ask, suggest, volunteer...its amazing to be in the country where making things happen is relatively easy.

Let us be frank, if you want to volunteer something or donate something,
we are willing to do your research work for you, we will do your leg work, and nothing will go to us or for the organisation of activities. I will, for example, call the embassies, talk to the NGOs, call overseas if I have to, to make sure our money goes to the best possible parties. our fundraising activities will be geared towards spectacular fun, because frankly, we are realistic. we would rather party with you for a good cause and bond WHILE raising money instead of getting your dough and never connect with you or speak to you again after.

If we are doing two-pronged work (some friends helped pack up goods for tsunami
victims this year), we will look for what we can do, and inform you. All you have to do is ask. If you don't want to do anything, and just donate, by all means we are here to help. If you have questions to ask an organisation we are donating to, we could be the go-between and show your Q&A's online.
I'm trying to figure out a transparent method to show all the accounts,
information to all as well without invading anyone's privacy. Perhaps, if you are a
donor, you can be given a number of pseudonym (or use your real name), and along
with your donation figure, this will all be listed on a site, or blog. At the end of the day you can do the math and we will show you the total amount to be given to the
organisation or party we are donating to. It is non-profit for us, so anyone willing to help us are volunteers. Any expenses accrued we will undertake.
I currently have a friend now who has said he will undertake the services part of
things, ie, find if any organisation requires physical help etc, so you can join in if you want to.
I am now eager for more friends to help out. What's the friggin point of friendster, multiply and the internet revolution if our pampered behinds cannot network beyond it.

Right now the focus is on the South Asian-Pakistan/India Quakes. And because I
know there will be people who say "elehhhh pakistan, pakistan, we got poor people
here too etc etc", pardon my AhLianspeak but "Eh pls, we are not dumb lah, we
know that, we will of course do local fundraising things too". But at this time, we go where things are MOST dire, most needed. Right now, these are people who will be
facing dead winter soon. Winter.cold. no tents. gila.

While we are here celebrating, pls spare a thought for those in need..support us, volunteer and pledge!