Friday, January 15, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

As global teachers, how should we respond to the earthquake in Haiti? Depending on students' ages, you can share information and support discussion at appropriate levels.

Very young students, with "tender hearts" (a phrase I heard used by a insightful principal) may need to know simply that there was a big disaster, people need help, and that help is on the way. Older students may be more curious about the challenging logistics of disaster relief. For all ages, this is an opportunity to learn yet again the truth that we're all one people, and that we can and must help one another.

And what about contributing for relief? If you choose to make contributions as a class, it's a good idea to begin by researching how those organizations with which you're already connected are involved in earthquake relief. The American Red Cross, UNICEF, and Heifer International all have launched relief projects for Haiti. Additional relief organizations appear here. In discussing your decisions, make clear to students that it's always important to check to see if the organization is established and dependable in delivering aid.

Take some time to explore how people from all over the world, with all kinds of talents and resources, are working together in response to the disaster. Point out the important part social media has played in getting information in and out of the earthquake zone. Who knows? You may be inspiring a future leader in humanitarian relief.

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