Thursday, January 14, 2010

An International Response to Haiti

The Washington Post is running an article entitled, "Tens of Thousands Feared Dead after Earthquake as Rescue Teams Reach Haiti." The article states, "Early Thursday, an Air China plane carrying a search-and-rescue crew, medics, seismological experts and tons of supplies landed at the Port-au-Prince airport, followed by three French planes with aid and a mobile hospital, the Associated Press reported. A British relief team arrived in neighboring Dominican Republic... Brazil has sent three jets carrying 21 tons of equipment, and many countries have pledged money. Spain has sent planes with surgical teams. The Israeli army dispatched two planeloads of rescue personnel and equipment to set up a field hospital, the AP said."

Questions to Consider:
1. Why do you think it's often easier for countries to work together in times of catastrophe than at other times? What meaningful objectives do you think that the world might be able to accomplish if many countries could work together effectively all of the time? Why?

2. Not mentioned in this article, Pat Robertson explained that the Haitian earthquake was the rest of a pact that former slaves made with the devil, in the 1700s, to end slavery. Do you believe that something as terrible as this earthquake could be caused by the wrath of God? Why or why not? Is there a difference between believing that something could be caused by the wrath of God and believing that something is caused by this wrath? Explain!

3. If you could say one thing to the people of Haiti right now, in addition to "Hang in there" what would it be? Why? Think of something provocative that others have not already said.

4. Imagine that you were an advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or President Obama, what specific things should they be doing right now to help the people of Haiti? (Consider the fact that they each oversee huge bureaucracies and are therefore going to play leadership roles.)

5. Consider some of the pictures contained in this newspaper article and describe what you see.

Questions for Younger Children and Anyone Else:
1. Why do you think it is sometimes easier to not work with other people?

2. Do you think that it is ever important to work with other people? Why or why not?

3. Describe one thing that you have accomplished because you were working with other people.

4. Is there ever a time when you should not do what other people are doing? Explain!

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