Over the past year, I have been moved because at Sojourner Tours we have received many kind inquiries about our safety and that of our family and service providers in France. We have all been lucky and still feel very fortunate and safe here in lovely France. Each of these attacks has hit like a personal blow though.
The events of the past year have indeed made us more mindful and prudent both at home in France and the States –and they have given us pause to reflect on how to best support France and other places following terrorist attacks.
SHORT TERM: There is so much you can do! Here are a some ideas to help right away:
- GIVE BLOOD: If you are in the country of the attack find a donation center and give blood.
2. DONATE: Help fund organizations working to help victims.
- GIVE FOR FRANCE (to help French terrorist victims)
- FIND ANOTHER CHARITY (Check-out a charity before you donate! Some seemingly good charities actually spend more money on administration than on the causes you are donating to, others are flat-out frauds.)
LONG TERM: Let’s work toward the French national motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” to stave off the rise of radicalism and fascism.
FRATERNITY: I’m inspired by the wisdom of my pied-noir aunt (she helped raise me and is not only the reason I speak French but also the reason my life is so deeply entwined with France). Her brother’s life work was to foster harmony between moderate Muslims and Christians. (Read more about: Pierre Claverie). As a result of my aunt’s influence, my thought is to look at the heart of the problem: a communication breakdown resulting in increasingly polarized religious followers.
3. PARTICIPATE: Look for opportunities in your local community to open communication and encourage inter-religious understanding and tolerance. If there aren’t opportunities already in place, be the one to start them!
EQUALITY: On top of that, I’m inspired by my degree in International Studies to see social and economic inequality as triggers for violence. You can volunteer or donate to organizations that promote economic and social equality.
4. VOLUNTEER OR DONATE: From the Red Cross, to Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army, there are lots of places you can lend a hand. Here’s one in France that I like:
- EMMAUS SOLIDARITY: This European society is very active in France, helping the economically depressed and homeless regain their place in society.
-Lisa (Sojourner Tours owner)