Monday, December 26, 2005

Tsunami help, a year later

WWH Remembrance Week

A year after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, people still need help. You and I can help them, by donating money and/or time to organizations that are working on the ground to help survivors, or by getting information out about those needs, or both.

The icon above links to The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog, a clearinghouse for information about the current situation and efforts to help. (CORRECTION: The icon links to The WorldWide Help Blog; The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog is here.) The Tsunami Help Wiki and Google's Tsunami Relief Resource Page also point to lots of ways to help tsunami survivors, and ReliefWeb has resources for tsunami help, along with more generalized humanitarian information and links.

In addition to helping by donating money, I have a particular humanitarian challenge that I will be addressing in this upcoming new year, one that grows directly out of the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake in Pakistan, just to name a few. While I finish my dissertation research, I will also be TA-ing by developing a public health informatics course. My goal is to make this not just another theoretical course whose materials are put aside and forgotten after the quarter is over, but rather, make this a useful resource in real-life. I want to make the material and the information delivery not only interesting, but highly relevant and useful--something that people can continue to use and reuse, and that makes a difference in putting people together with the information they can use. There are already some amazing grass-roots information efforts that have grown out of the tsunami and Katrina; part of what I plan to do is to make my students aware of those efforts, and to think about how those could be built upon and kept up.

I'll keep you updated on that goal; I am looking forward myself to seeing how I figure that one out. In the meantime, please join me in giving what you can to organizations helping the tsunami survivors--the need doesn't stop, just because it's not so prominently on the media's radar anymore.


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