Articles From the August 1994 Unification News


Whom You Save Is Why You Give.

International Relief Friendship Foundation
44 Lancaster Gate, Bayswater, London, W2 3NA.

The Ukraine, Bulgaria and BelaRus are areas of the world with more than their fair share of problems. Understanding their history and their peoples is the first step towards raising awareness of the disadvantaged there. As a core value, voluntary service is fundamental to liberal Democracy. IRFF addresses this by being multilocal-that is, getting in touch with local sentiments in Bulgaria like OAP's in care- in touch with the needy in the Ukraine like disadvantaged children in care and in touch with the fragile in BelaRus like those inflicted with cancer near Chernobyl.

Whom you save is why many of us give. It's a core belief, identifying needs and altering our mindset to relieve the poor. As an international charity, with offices in 10 western and eastern countries as well as the USA and Japan, being multilocal means sharing what we have as people, when we have it, with others. That often demands giving all. The anguish in and around the exclusion zone in Chernobyl, children and OAP's critically ill, in need of supplies of medications, that just trickle. As global citizens with a conscience and professional staff of aid agencies, trying to save one more person. Sounds like a job for the creative and conceptually inspired leader. Could this be you?

In Bulgaria, hours are spent just trying to define terms, like volunteer. There is no contemporary translation in Bulgaria for words like sponsor or volunteer. But after working with local people, attempting to understand local sentiment, these new words for them are no longer confusing; indeed, they become solutions to some of that society's problems. When people work together as partners in the cause, they enable each other to be linked with why they are giving and the impact even one person can have. Watching CNN can give you a glimpse that even as far as these Balkan nations have come, the longest part of the road is still ahead.

A Vision of Peace and Hope

The mildly endearing chaos one encounters upon first arriving in the Balkans later becomes distinctly unfunny. But that's what a transformative experience is all about: dealing with events plunged into disarray while maintaining hope and a vision for a better outcome. What comes out of all this is sustainable development. Sustainable development must be central, in that it permeates all areas of society-it must be comprehensive, in that it involves all levels of economic, political and academic bodies-and it must be community-based, in that usually local structures and organizations will overcome the barriers to change.

Creative and conceptual imagination is needed with inspired leadership ability. That's what IRFF is looking for. A pro-active approach. Could this be you? If so, please contact Chris D. Hays on: 071 402 1587 (answerphone).


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