Drought, the forgotten natural disaster.
Did you know there is a drought on? A serious, lengthy and insidious drought?
I had no idea.
No idea until I clicked on a link on the Aussie Helpers Facebook page and watched a short documentary filmed by the Al Jazeera network (that's right, not even an Australian network) showing what people are going through right now in north western New South Wales and Queensland. It prompted me to contact Aussie Helpers, established by Brian and Nerida Egan in 2002, and offer to help with providing some images they could use to increase awareness in the media of what is going on.
This time last week I had just spent 2 days with Matthew from Aussie Helpers (and his kids), visiting farmers in the drought stricken district around Lightning Ridge. I saw skinny sheep, skinny cattle and skinny horses. The countryside is starving. But what hit me most is the tough but tired people that face this every day, trying to keep their beloved livestock alive, hoping it'll rain soon.
How even though they are at their limit mentally and financially, they still opened the homestead door with a smile, offering cups of tea and wanting to hear all our news.
It is truly amazing how quickly our country rallies in support for victims of natural disaster in our country, victims of fire and flood (and so we should!). The victims of drought can sometimes seem to be pushed to the side and left to fend for themselves, this includes farmers and the small rural communities and businesses that rely on farmers to survive. I am still amazed that I hadn't seen anything on our Australian media about the current crisis (I have since seen a segment on Sunrise this week though). Thankfully there are people like Brian and Nerida Egan and their team to help!
If you ever wondered who you are helping when you've donated to a drought appeal or a rural charity or seen them advertised asking for your help, these are some of the faces and places that so gratefully accept your help and are waiting for the day that it rains again so they can get back on their feet and give back to those who helped them in this time of crisis.
Should you wish to donate to Aussie Helpers to allow them to continue to help our drought stricken farmers with fuel cards, groceries, hay days, calf milk powder, dog biscuits and access to mental health assistance and many other incredible actions please donate here: