Sleepy Monday, and: Becoming a Red Cross “standby supporter”?

Getting out of bed at 12:40 is no good. It means that your virtual “day at work” as a student willl last at least until 20:00. Correction: It should last until 20:00. I have to admit, my working day has been a bit fragmented, but I did manage to read some articles and do some work on the subject I’m a group teacher in.

Today’s most interesting pieces of information are the continuing unrest in Iraq (BBC) and the drought in eastern Africa (Reuters). Coincidentally, I heard about the drought earlier today – in the quarterly magazine of the Norwegian Red Cross. Fortunately, it seems Kenya is better prepared than a lot of other African countries when it comes to this type of crisis. They still urgently need donors though – Kenya’s image as a relatively well-organized country can make the crisis look less urgent than it is.

I’m considering joining up as a Red Cross “standby supporter” (in Norwegian: “beredskapsgiver”), meaning they’ll text you whenever some situation requires immediate funds. I’m already supporting Medecins sans Frontieres on a monthly basis, but this new Red Cross concept appeals to me. Of course, it’s not hard to find objections – firstly, there are always tons of emergencies at any given time, and maybe they could save the resources spent on texting people and use them for actual aid instead. However, I’ve got a feeling the novelty of the concept will make it worthwhile. Being listed on the Red Cross standby supporter list, always ready to dole out some aid when it’s really really needed (and getting the alert via SMS!) somehow seems more cool than just giving for the sake of giving.

I don’t know, we’ll see. This SMS thing could perhaps make giving a little more personal. “Hi Are, a flood just hit Bangladesh, and the people down there really need help.” Maybe getting the information via your cellphone brings it closer?

Interestingly, there’s no mention of being a “standby supporter” on their website, which is where it really should be marketed if they want to make this “cool” and target it at young people. I’ll send them an e-mail and ask about that.

Have a fabulous Tuesday, and consider supporting an aid organization of some sort on a monthly basis if you aren’t already.


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