Earthquake's wider impact
Everyone is talking about the earthquake; the media is blanketed with it, Chinese people are all continuing to fund raise, bloggers discuss the most and least generous celebrity/company/entrepreneur etc, volunteers pile in to help, charities organise fundraiser events, Foreign governments donate supplies (the country has run out of tents!) and everyone competes to donate even more.
For those westerners here, we have been eagerly anticipating the Olympics, not because of the sports but because of everything else that it will affect. Now we have the earthquake and the impact is incredible -the Olympics will be boring in comparison.
Every company is competing who can donate more and employees donate more and more by the day, government departments set a mandated minimum donation from public servants, companies that do not loudly say how much they have donated run the risk of being boycotted (and many have, e.g. McDonalds branches being forced to print flyers saying how much they donated, as customers were concerned they had not). Will it affect all the other causes that need money? Will businesses do anything above and beyond cash donations?
The whole country has learnt what a charity/NGO is and they are, for the first time, not only being motivated (by media, peer pressure, guilt etc) to help, have found a way to help by donating..and there are plenty who can afford to donate. The amounts are staggering. Will it kick start the charity sector in
During the 3 minute silence the country came to a standstill and made a noise, during the 3 days of mourning it was so intense websites literally stopped publishing any non-earthquake news, some people were beaten up for celebrating a birthday party and you were unpatriotic if you did not buy a flag, a sticker and a 'I love China' t-shirt. Great that the patriotism was no longer channeled against Westerners (because we all, of course, want to split
As there are so few charities in
Unfortunately a second outlet for people's desire to help has been through flying or driving to
There are so many aspects to the impact of this earthquake to keep everyone talking. For many Chinese though, they are starting to get fed up of the horror and the depressing images. Outside of China everyone compares the relatively efficient government response to the Americans' mess-up in New Orleans and the Burmese Generals selfishness and evilness; Charities fear they cannot raise more money for Burma as the media has such poor access to the country there are few images/updates available on the news; Corporations admit China's market is just a little more important than Burma's (hence their massive donations to China in comparison) despite the lack of domestic funding resources in Burma compared to China.
Plan is doing something and I will share details of that later for those interested. In the meantime www.china-crossroads.com is the place to go for updates. I was actually in the air when the earthquake struck, on my was to