Eleven and a half years after I was asked to help out the Disaster Emergency Committee with their Haiti work (see Icons passim), the country is suffering after another earthquake.
I learned a lot on that campaign. First, how well off we are over here. I remember just getting out of the shower before I set off to the offices. I was toweling myself off, feeling fresh and good when it occurred to me hardly anyone on the island could even aspire to a day revolving around that fragrant and comfortable set point.
DEC comprises ActionAid, Action Against Hunger, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern, Age UK, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.
There is power, efficiency and wisdom in that collegiate structure as opposed to a top-down approach. Age UK knew people with the same specialization in Haiti, ditto Save the Children. Help was targeted via these networks in a way that simply wouldn't happen with a broad brush (slap dash?) approach.