Some of our worst disasters today are man-made disasters like war according to disaster specialist, Mark Smith of World Vision. That was our discussion today in the Trends and Issues summit. The UNHCR describes the current state of the world as a crises. One in every 122 people on the planet is displaced as either refugees, internally displaced peoples or asylum seekers. 1 in 122! In 2014 59.5 million people were displaced by war. and half of all refugees are children that are not touched by sponsorship programs because they are on the move and vulnerable.
Some of my biggest takeaways come from Edward Densham of Samaritan’s Purse.
#1 Be Purposeful: Don’t loose sight of the individual. This is easy to do when you are seeking to meet the needs of thousand of people displaced by war or a natural disaster. Christ ministered to crowds, but he always kept his eye out for individuals.
#2 Be Adaptable: Adjust to the situation at hand. we need to be nimble in such disaster scenarios. Disasters situations are fluid and an organization must be able to adapt quickly.
#3 Be Transparent: Tell people who you are and why you are there. Don’t be afraid to hide your faith affiliation. In some cases you will not be invited to help, but in others you will find surprising recipients.
#4 Be Prepared: You might have months or only hours to prepare. SP has a 90 minute response to major disasters. Pre-position supplies and people to respond quickly to disasters.
#5 Be There: Prioritize access and speed to being present with people in the midst of disasters.
#6 (If there were one), go as high as you can, as fast as you can. Find a way to develop relationships with people in power as fast as you can to gain access to communities in need.
On top of these discussions, we looked at the use of drones in developing situations. They are particularly helpful for mapping and identifying hot spots in a disaster situation. Fun part was seeing one in action mapping the area where we are staying. Blood:Water demonstrated its use.