Here in Europe we have all been devastated by the footage of the Australian fires burning... The scale of the crisis is hard to comprehend. The wildfires have so far burned more than 10 million hectares. They have killed 27 people. 2000 homes have been destroyed. Up to a billion animals have been killed, with many species thought to now be extinct.
The blazes are the worst Australia has ever witnessed and the catastrophe is far from over, with the south-east of the country only just entering what is usually considered the most dangerous time of year for wildfires.
We have listened with tears in our eyes, our hearts gripped by fear, mourning for Australia as our friends, family and colleagues struggle to cope with their new reality. We are so far away, it is hard to know what to do. Here in Belgium our colleagues, friends, neighbours and strangers alike have shown us enormous concern, compassion and support.
As Australian expats, friends of Australia and concerned European and global citizens, we can all come together and give what we can for those facing the bushfire crisis. These donations are critical now and in the years to come as the process of recovery is likely to be long, slow and expensive.
We hope to raise €2,000 by Australia Day 2020. Please give whatever you can... your pocket money, what you'd spend on coffee this morning or a more significant donation if you can.
All of the money will go to charities for bushfire relief. It will be split between the following two charities:
- 50% of the money raised will go to WIRES (Wildlife Rescue) who are offering national emergency support for animals affected by the fires.
- 50% of the money raised will go to the Australian Red Cross who are working nationwide with victims of the bushfires to provide immediate support (including cash donations) and long term recovery.
All of us here in Belgium thank you for your support! Every little bit counts.
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- Joanna De keyser