The Third Wave: A Volunteer Story

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Filmmaker Alison Thompson describes her journey as a volunteer—from her first real introduction to disaster relief after 9/11 to her efforts in Haiti, where she helped create and run, with Sean Penn, a displaced-person camp and field hospital for more than 65,000 Haitians who lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake. In The Third Wave: A Volunteer Story, she provides an inside glimpse into what really happens on the ground after a disaster—and a road map for what anyone can do to help.


Alison Thompson

Comments [1]

There's a reason for coordinated response from Brooklyn, NY

Those with experience in development would note that there's a reason for a coordinated, organized response. It's all very nice to feel so moved by something that you think, "I have to go there," but the volunteers after the tsunami complicated coordinated relief efforts, in some cases resulting in harm. It behooves other would be "gonzos" to think very carefully about whether "rushing to the disaster site" is really going to improve things after the disaster, or whether your presence will do more harm than good. It may feel good to rush off, and you can write a book that Hollywood might call about, but it's not always the best choice for the people you're going to help.

For useful discussions on this matter, see the blog Good Intentions are Not Enough

Jul. 19 2011 01:51 PM

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