Today, entrepreneur Darrell Wade, founder of Intrepid Travel, issues a challenge to our readers. Here is his letter to me:
What do companies do to respond to humanitarian crises?
Using Burma as an excellent example – 25,000 people reported dead with the crisis getting worse by the hour. Do companies take their corporate social responsibility rhetoric seriously? What do they actually do to help?
For our part, The Intrepid Foundation has just donated $20,000 to Medecins Sans Frontieres and promoted the work of MSF (also known as Doctors without Borders) in yesterday’s Intrepid email newsletter to 400,000 people.
I have travelled to Myanmar several times in the past and it is heartbreaking to
hear the extent of the destruction. Intrepid Travel stopped operating trips to Myanmar in 2001 due to its political and human rights issues, but we see this as no reason to withhold aid in this time of absolute crisis.
Are MFS the best? Well, of course you never really know. But they have staff on the ground and we have been talking to them today and they seem to know what is going on! We have also worked with MSF in the past and have been impressed by their work and efficiency. You can’t say that for all NGOs!!
Here is what Carolyn Vaughan from Medecins Sans Frontieres says is the extent of the destruction their teams have seen so far: “In Daala and Twanta, two townships of Yangon with a total population of 300,000 people, MSF teams saw 80% destruction of houses in some pockets as well as metre-high flood waters. In these two areas, MSF is distributing food, water and other essential items for 5000 people. We currently have a full charter of emergency supplies on its way from Bordeaux to the region.”
So if SmartCompany readers want to help, please contact MSF on 1300 13 60 61 or go to their website. And write in and tell us: We’ll share the good news with the SmartCompany community.