Thursday, February 25, 2010

AmeriCares post Haiti response

I've been watching with interest the response of development organizations worldwide in the wake of Haiti. I've blogged about this several times, including tips on disaster response here.

Overall, there's been some good stuff happening from speedy appeals for help, to very thorough and regular feedback. One of my favorites I talked about here recently, a story told by the folks over at Free the Children.

One of the better attempts to bring people closer to the devastation of Haiti has been that of AmeriCares.

Their response has been well orchestrated, coherent and timely.

In particular check out the email I received, as a donor to Haiti, inviting me to a teleconference to hear first hand the gravity of the situation and AmeriCares response.

I listened in to the briefing today. I heard about some of the barriers AmeriCares faced on the ground, like the need to move hospitals outdoors, for fear of aftershocks, and the impending risk of the wet season. They also talked about the 'generation of amputees' that have been created by the quakes, which will have social, psychological and financial implications.

Not to mention that amidst all of this, AmeriCares provided aid to another 41 countries since Haiti. Amazing.

So I walked away with a pretty clear idea of just what has been happening. But I felt there was one thing missing.

A story.

At one stage one of the staff members started talking about patients, but their conversation quickly shifted to operations. Like the photo above, I wanted to hear first hand how my support was helping real people. This felt like an opportunity missed.

Then, less than an hour after the briefing I got this (below - you might need to click on it to enlarge).

Brilliant - an ask for a monthly gift. I'm not certain about the fixed term of the monthly gift - I hope they tested it - but I'm glad they asked for it (this was the second time so far I've been asked to commence a monthly gift since my first donation a month ago).

Nice work AmeriCares. You're leading the way in your post disaster response.



Penny said...

Thanks Jonathan! Very thoughful. And very generous. We appreciate your analysis and donations. We will certainly take your feedback to heart. I'll be sure to follow you on Twitter @jonathongrapsas

Penny Crump
AmeriCares web marcomms manager

Jonathon Grapsas said...

My pleasure Penny. Keep up the great stuff - and keep telling me stories! :)

Penny said...

You got it! Here is a story of volunteer medical teams treating survivors with medicines and supplies donated by the AmeriCares Medical Outreach Program in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Brilliant - thanks for sending this to me..