Being in a disaster zone is a very unique place to be. You are essentially caught in the crosshairs of individuals having gone through the most traumatic experience of their lives, and those same individuals trying their best to pick up the pieces and start over. The atmosphere can be chaotic, disorganized, even desperate which is why the power of hope is invaluable in an environment like this. Having graduated from IDS at Guelph in 2011, I was equipped with a better understanding of the mechanics behind how social and economic vulnerabilities can be magnified in the event of a disaster. While natural disasters will ‘level the playing field’, the long-term recovery for the fringe population is much more arduous and fraught with obstacles in returning to their pre-disaster state. I have had the privilege to provide hope to communities worldwide over the last four years. Whether it is in a typhoon-hit area, or on the beaches awaiting refugee boat arrivals, providing a shred of hope is a currency that yields results. This is my story.
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