Thursday, July 25, 2024

8 things Victorians can do to support victims of Australia wildfires

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The wildfires in Australia have been raging for months: 12 million hectares of land burned, 29 people dead, and thousands displaced.

It’s easy to feel impotent in the face of this kind of destruction, especially when it’s happening half a world away. But there are plenty of ways to help from right here on Vancouver Island.

There are a number of charities aiding victims fo the wildfires that could use your support right now.

One local charity, St. John Ambulance BC & Yukon, is aiming to raise $10,000 for the Country Fire Authority & Brigades Donations Fund. As of the time of publication, they have raised $2,400.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is the largest volunteer fire service in the world and has been integral to the firefighting efforts. Donations to them directly support these volunteers.

The Australian Red Cross is involved in disaster relief and bushfire recovery. They are raising money for evacuations and community support such as emergency grants and bereavement payments for those who have lost their homes and family members.

Well over a billion animals are estimated to have perished in the fires. If you want to directly support habitat restoration, conservation efforts, or even adopt a koala, donate to the World Wildlife Fund.

Fight climate change

While Australia does have a “fire season,” the severity of this year’s fires are largely attributed to climate change and have been exacerbated by the Australian government’s inaction in the face of it.

Seed, a network of Indigenous youth, is working for climate justice in Australia alongside the Australia Youth Climate Coalition. In addition to many Indigenous people being displaced, thousands of cultural sites are feared to have been damaged by the fires.

Seed advocates for the protection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land in the face of fossil fuel extraction and global warming.

In addition to a large team of staff and volunteers, Climate Council is made up of experts in the fields of climate change, health, and renewable energy.

They work to promote stories about the effects of climate change, advocate for alternate solutions to non-renewable energy, and call out misinformation about the devastating effects of global warming.

You can help in the fight against climate change by supporting and promoting organizations like these.

Keep talking about it

Share charities and campaigns on social media. Read and discuss the news with family and friends. Make sure people keep talking about this.

The constant news cycle can be overwhelming and even crises as extreme as this can fade into the background if they’re not affecting one’s day-to-day life.

Even if you can’t donate, you can help by spreading the word and promoting charities and organizations for others to support.

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Hannah Koning
UVic student and Freelance Writer at Victoria Buzz. If you’ve got a story, I probably want to write it: hannahrzkoning@gmail.com

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