I had an idea on the bus this morning. It may be useful to contact the Protezione Civile Regione Abruzzo or the Red Cross in that area to find out if we could help out with the earthquake relief in some way. I was thinking, I’ve got about 300 students in the first and second years, and another 100 or so in the third year who ARE TRAINING in business communication. Why not ask sporting and camping goods companies to send tents, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment to the Protezione Civile or the Red Cross to be distributed? In this spirit, I have written to the Protezione Civile to ask how we may be of assistance. I will write to the Red Cross as well to ask them as well, so we should have some channels open around which we can organise ourselves.
We all have friends and some of us have families in Abruzzo, some also in the area most directly struck by the earthquake. If there is one thing this country is good at, it is not leaving its citizens on the street. Let’s do what we can, great or small, to help out.
Earthquakes and natural disaster relief procedes in a number of phases. The immediate shock and destruction requires immediate work and relief to help the displaced and injured. It’s first aid on a medical, housing, sanitation, food and psychological scale. It DOES NOT STOP THERE, however. Within a week the situation will be stable, but many people will have had their lives uprooted. Already the newspapers speak of people who have seen “i luoghi della gioventù spazzati via”. The rebuilding process is physical, mental and emotional and requires years of attention. I ask you all to submit ideas for how to help, and I will try to coordinate needs expressed by the relative authorities with your suggestions for help.
NOTE: once you DO decide to offer a hand, it is a commitment. WE must work to offer real help, great or small, that actually gets to the people who need it. Like the Keith Richards album – Talk Is Cheap.
My ideas were:
to contact camping equipment companies in Italy and around the world to ask them to DONATE camping equipment in the immediate term.
to contact Italian Cultural Centres in other countries to ask IF they would be interested in helping in some way.
to work with various authorities to see if there are ways that we can continue to offer support from the short to the medium term.
I’m open to all kinds of ideas. Let me know what you think.
Often, you will find, business is very willing to help out in these situations, but needs someone to organise the channels of communication. That sounds an awful lot like a job for LAZ/CL4 students. Earthquakes don’t spare business either, and the economic redevelopment of that area will take time, planning, analysis, and commitment of resources in terms of time, energy and money. Some of you may find your tourism marketing skills or your management and finance skills put to use in that area.
This university is committed to working with other organisations in the territory. We are a hinterland, hill-top university committed to the values of the central Italian mountain and coastal zones. We have also seen an earthquake or two in our day. Let’s not forget our friends and colleagues just to the south of us!
Please respond by commenting on this blog. We will discuss this initiative in class. Any other contributions or ideas may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best to those in Abruzzo, we’re thinking of you.