Colombia’s southern city of Mocoa, as you may be aware, was struck by a terrible disaster a month ago. The city’s residents need our help.
Not only have hundreds of people been confirmed dead and at least 100 are still missing, but the conditions that the survivors are living in now are devastating.
There is no shelter for the thousands of people left without homes, not enough food as the only road that connects Mocoa to the rest of Colombia has been closed off from the landslides; no clean water; children and pets left without families, and parents without children. There is no way out of the town and the only help comes in helicopters.
My boyfriend’s family that live there are thankfully all alive and unhurt. They are trying to help the people who have been less fortunate than them but they are running out of resources themselves.
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The problem with Colombia is that, it is a beautiful country but the government is too corrupt to help out citizens when they really need it, even when it is an official state of emergency.
Millions of dollars have been donated to Colombia’s government or major charity organisations from brands and other countries’ governments.
The people suffering in Mocoa have seen very little of this aide and are struggling to get by and find a way through this.
Now that it has been almost a month since the disaster, media is reporting on this less and less and the donations are dwindling.
I took a trip to Mocoa earlier this year, which was probably the highlight of my whole trip to Colombia, mainly because of the lovely people there that made the experience unforgettable.
In my mind I keep replaying the day that I was on top of the float seeing everyone’s smiling, laughing faces and I wonder what these same people must be going through now.
Maybe some of the people who waved at me are dead, or paralyzed, or trapped under rubble? Maybe some of those little kids I waved at have been left without a home, without parents?
And for those who have survived, it is still so heart-breaking to know that they are now living in such horrendous conditions. I feel so helpless, but I want to do something to make a difference.
That’s why my boyfriend and I have set up a page for donations on Give a Little. We are lucky to have a connection to the town which means we can ensure all the money that is donated goes to the right place.
The money raised will be directly spent on food and fresh water supplies, and my boyfriend’s uncle will then use these to do a barbecue and distribute hot meals and water to everyone who is in need, so no corrupt governments involved – 100% of the money we raise will go to the people who need it most.
The more money we raise, the longer we will be able to feed them until a way out of this mess is decided.
They have already suffered a mindless tragedy, let’s not let more people become ill or die in the aftermath.
Please consider donating to our page to help feed the survivors of Mocoa. Every little bit helps!
Click here to donate
Please note: if you are not in New Zealand, you can only donate using a credit card. If you want to donate, but don’t have a credit card, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work something out.
The donation page will close on May 10. After that, I will keep updating my social media with what is happening with the money so you will see exactly where it will go.
I was planning anyway to write a blog about Mocoa and the awesome things to do there at some point, but I am writing it right now to talk about the disaster because I think more people need to understand how catastrophic this has been, and because I want to give people a legitimate way to help.
Please share this article to spread the word and help us reach more people.
To everyone who has taken the time to read this, and especially to the people who have reached into their hearts and donated something, thank you.
Author Suzie Kelsey is of travel website The Wandering Linguist where you can read more on the situation in Mocoa.