Fiji Times

SUVA, Fiji (Dec. 28) – Many of us understand the devastating effects of natural disasters.

Most have experienced the pain of losing loved ones and properties during cyclones and floods.

Today, some are still recovering from the effects of Cyclone Ami two years ago and the killer floods which hit parts of Viti Levu in April.

After such devastation, you wonder why it had to happen. Then you realize that the cause of natural disasters is something beyond human control. You cannot do anything to stop it.

We accept that this power, which causes earthquakes and hurricanes, is greater than all of us combined that nature has control over us. It demonstrates the power it has over us through natural disasters.

You cannot do anything about it but offer your help to those who need it. Such a time is now.

The Fiji Times Limited today starts a fundraising drive with a $5000 (US$3,000) donation to help the millions of people affected by the tidal wave, which hit countries in South East Asia on Sunday.

You will be able to donate cash through a special account opened at the Australia and New Zealand Bank or at the Fiji Times offices at Suva and Lautoka.

All money received will be audited by a chartered accountant and presented to the Red Cross Society, which will manage its distribution to the affected families and individuals.

The Red Cross is a respected international organization, which has the best expertise and experience in handling relief operations.

The amount you donate is immaterial as long as you believe in your heart that it will, in some little way, bring some comfort and relief to someone who badly needs a lot of both right now.

You may not have any relative or know people in the affected areas but you can be sure of one thing your donation will be blessed and accepted with much appreciation.

Because of the magnitude of the tragedy, no one may come up with an exact figure of how many actually died. In the days, weeks and months to come, families of those missing will gradually give up hope.

And after they have mourned their loved ones, those who lost homes and commercial properties will require a lot of courage and determination to rebuild their lives.

The rest of the world has started to provide assistance. Countries have shipped across technical aid and medical personnel.

You and other members of the community will be pitching in whatever you can to help feed, shelter or clothe someone.

Vinaka (Thank you).

December 28, 2004

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