After fighting hard, being the trailblazer for Christian organisations rights to hire and fire on faith basis and opposing USAID's attempt - just two years ago - to "strongly encourage" faith-based contractors to stop discriminating against LGBT people in order to receive federal funding, one wonders what went wrong in the World Vision board room.
Type the phrase "good in a crisis" into Google and you get 1.8 million hits. Search for "good at preventing crises" and you get just sixteen. It's a sad fact that - whether as individuals or as nations - we spend infinitely more time, energy and money dealing with problems than we do preventing them.
As a young woman living with a disability in a disaster-affected community Mavie faces even more challenges than most - Plan works hard to ensure that the rights and needs of children like Mavie are taken into account when planning for, and responding to, disasters like Typhoon Haiyan.As a young woman living with a disability in a disaster-affected community Mavie faces even more challenges than most - Plan works hard to ensure that the rights and needs of children like Mavie are taken into account when planning for, and responding to, disasters like Typhoon Haiyan.
Although the Philippine government is being criticized for not doing more, it is still difficult to find blame when it comes to natural disasters of this level. When it comes down to it, there is no one that can be directly blamed for this type of travesty, there is only so much anyone can do to prepare. The death tolls are nonetheless frightening and humbling.
The world looked on in horror as a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on 12 January 2010. More than 200,000 people were killed in the capital alone, along with countless thousands of animals, including beloved pets and vitally important livestock. Just 72 hours later, the WSPA, rushed to aid the animals of the devastated nation...
Gilda and Emma's green house is one of the few still standing on Tacloban's seafront, although some of the walls collapsed and it suffered severe structural damage. Photo albums, books and Christmas decorations are strewn over the floor. For the first few chaotic days after the disaster, Gilda and Emma took refuge in the local church. The building sheltered dozens of families who had lost their houses.
The typhoon in the Philippines reminded us all of Mother Nature's destructive power. Even in a technologically advanced 21st Century, we remain dangerously exposed to the worst she has to offer. But this doesn't have to be the case. We have the capability to utilise a wealth of information and state of the art scientific analysis to significantly improve survival rates when disasters hit.
For the two weeks since the typhoon, these bodies have been laying face up - staring into the alternating blazing sun and pouring rain. The smell of decomposition was overbearing, but I couldn't look away from the little girl in the white dress. It seemed so wrong for her to be left to the elements like that, and stared at by anyone passing by.
On the way to Salcedo we passed through several towns - all affected to varying degrees by the power of the typhoon. The worst was Hernani - most houses had been washed out to sea or destroyed. The ashphalt had risen up together like mountain ranges combining - the force required to do that is incredible.
In an undiplomatic, tearful outburst at the current UN Climate Change conference, The Philippines representative told delegates their meetings have been called "an annual gathering of carbon-intensive useless frequent flyers." Judging by the successive failure of these international gatherings to reverse humanity's disastrous trajectory, many observers would agree with that frank assessment.
The aid debate shouldn't be restricted to an argument about ring-fencing. It must also be about how we help people find their own ways out of poverty, identifying the most effective ways to help people become resilient to increasingly extreme weather conditions and to find financial independence and celebrating them. Even when they're in the form of committee meetings.