How did you spend your weekend? I hope you had some rest and reconnected with your beloved ones. For my peers and entire nations in Serbia and Bosnia last 96 hours were a struggle of life and death.
The biggest floods in our region over the last 120 years, took a death toll on 37 people, more than 300 landslides appeared, and the entire towns and villages sank. According to some media there are tens of thousands people evacuated but the actual number of people gets closer to 200,000 if you consider those who got evacuated by their own means: in Obrenovac, Lučani, Čačak, Barič, Šabac, Sremska Mitrovica, Lazarevac, Kostolac, Smederevska Palanka, Svilajnac. In Bosnia the most critical towns were Brčko,Tuzla, Bijeljina, Orašje, Sarajevo, Doboj and Maglaj, whereas the latter two could be reached only by boats.
At the website EU Floods Directivethe situation can be closely followed but even the fact that three months’ worth of rain has fallen in three days and that children, adults and elderly people faced grave shocks, did not stop our people in the Balkans to give our best solidarity with volunteering, resilience, compassion, aid and money.
One of the biggest
tragedies that happened convinced us that we had nothing to lose, except each
other. Gandhi said, ‘‘Be the change you
wish to see in the world’’ and volunteers who struggled to get into buses in
order to create damns at the dangerous places; volunteers who worked
relentlessly completely drenched and with pneumonia; volunteers who provided victims
with support, shelter and aid; volunteers who mobilized groups of people to donate
money; all of them proved that in Serbia and Bosnia we do not have the
crisis of leadership and that we obtained support from all friendly and
Superstars Boris Becker, Novak Djokovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Billy Idol led by example and invited all to contribute as much as they can. Novak won the title in Rome against Rafael Nadal and donated his 700,000-dollar award to victims of flood in Serbia.
International media gavecyclone Tamarabreaking news coverage but what is missing is the call to action, how can YOU transfer money internationally, how can YOU impact YOUR institutions, governments and companies to get involved more?
Several ideas to contribute are:
1.Share this text or write your own report in English or your mother tongue.
It can be about the floods you witnessed or what you heard about from your Balkan friends. Authentic stories, photos and videos will help major media agencies, as well.
2.Write a comment about the examples of good practice in your community.
Share relevant links. Inform us about the situation in Bosnia and Croatia, where the flooding wave surges, as well. Read this portal in 5 languages: Help Flooded Serbia.
3.Crowd source: both platforms or fundraising in person can help greatly.
Think about this: 20 people in your community who donate 5 dollars will buy a sufficiently big oven for a family. The money is needed for post-relief integration of people, building of their homes, buying electrical appliances. Use:
-Help Serbia (PayPal and wire donations)
-Serbian Red Cross (Wire donations)
-Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Wire donations)
-Croatian Red Cross (Online payment, Wire payment)
4.Organize your community: gather pals likeOxford guys will do on May 23.
5.Support a cause:run, bungee jump or sky glide so that community gives you money and cheers for you as a Flood Relief champion!
From Twitter to crowdsourcing; from UN Volunteering to organizing charity events. Because Cyclone Tamara is Balkan Chernobyl, Balkan Katrina, Balkan Fukushima and the global world connected via solidarity and Internet will help us overcome it with the energy we help each other.
We can do this!
As Gandhi said,‘‘Be the change you wish to see in the world!’'
Cover photo: Balkan Insight
Credits to:Ivan Minic on Medium