Adopt a village

Dear sir:
Many of us were saddened to see and hear about the events that took place on Dec. 26. The earthquake and subsequent tsunamis in Asia is the largest natural disaster ever witnessed by us.
I sat glued to the television and watched, with a sense of shock, as images of flattened towns and orphaned children consumed every moment. Stories of despair and grief were mirrored by stories of hope and generosity on a global scale.
The United Nations and world leaders have pledged millions and asked that it not stop once the media coverage has diminished. That’s because the people affected will be living with this for months and years to come.
As such, I have an idea that will involve our community reaching out to help a community in need.
If the community of Fort Frances were to pledge to adopt one village in a country devastated by a tsunami, it would mean an ongoing commitment that would enable the aid to continue during the rebuilding process.
This means that we, as a community, get to know the village and their needs and thus help out on a grand scale, but also on a smaller, more personal scale.
This by no means involves funding the whole infrastructure of a town; if we can start by just helping one family, it will be worth the effort.
This can be done either by raising funds for the rebuilding of a school, or collecting items such as clothes or small household items to be sent to individual families.
If we can start by organizing a core group of individuals to contact embassies and government aid agencies, this project can be started and developed on a scale that is within our means.
I always have been impressed by the service groups in Fort Frances, and the fundraising and the level of volunteering this community has shown, and I am sure we can lead by example and hopefully have other communities in Canada follow suit.
This is no easy task and is still in the development stage, and help is needed. So if anyone is interested in organizing such a relief project, please contact me at or call 274-2642.
We are all members of a global community and one community reaching out to another is not only an idea, but it should be our responsibility.
Jean-Marc Blanc
Fort Frances, Ont.