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Doctors Without Borders Aids Nepal

MSF teams in Nepal

Nepal and the World Are Helped by Doctors Without Borders

MSF teams in Nepal

At ContactsforLess.ca we believe in helping save the world by making it a better place. That is why every month we specifically choose a highlighted cause to bring more attention to these humanitarian efforts, so that YOU can make a difference in the world, one contact lens at a time.

For the month of May, we are proud to say that the international humanitarian medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is our highlighted cause.

Every year Doctors Without Borders (MSF) provides emergency medical care and aid to millions of people caught in crises. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) provides assistance when catastrophic events –such as armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters or malnutrition—overwhelm local health systems. On any given day, more than 30,000 doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, administrators, and other qualified professionals working with MSF can be found providing medical care around the world.

There is no doubt that the recent earthquake in Nepal has shaken more than just the country, but the world alike as a result of this tragedy. Many humanitarian charities and emergency relief organizations have responded by rushing rescue aid to the areas devastated by the Nepal earthquake.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been working since 2007 close to the Nepal border and responded to the recent natural disaster by sending four teams of medical and non-medical staff to Nepal to assist those victims affected earthquake. They have also sent 3,000 kits of non-food items and medical kits to Nepal.

Following the first earthquake on April 25, a second earthquake hit Nepal on May 12. Since the occurrence of this second earthquake, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams have been assessing the affected areas in the Dolakha district where villages were destroyed by this second earthquake.

Additional Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams are also conducting assessments east of Kathmandu. Other teams have also split up to visit various hospitals in Kathmandu, ready to intervene if necessary. For the two previous weeks though, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams have been providing medical assistance and distributing food and shelter to remote areas affected by the first earthquake. The teams have also set up an inflatable field emergency hospital in Arughat, located in the Gorkha district, to provide even further aid to the population affected from the disasters of the first earthquake.

This 20-bed hospital comes equipped with operating facilities, as well as an obstetrics and maternity unit, and has been set up to serve the population with critical health services as a result of the two earthquakes.

“This facility here is replacing the health center that was destroyed in the earthquake and which provides health care to the 10,000 inhabitants living here in Arughat, as well as the 40,000 people in the small, inaccessible villages in the surrounding health district,” says Dr. Jean-Paul Delain.

If you would like to help support the relief efforts that Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is doing in Nepal, make sure you choose them as the nonprofit organization that you want to donate 51% of our profits to. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is the highlighted cause for the month of May at Contactsforless.ca

 

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Why Should Companies Employ Social Responsibility to Help the Planet?

Social Responsibility Matters!

social responsibility love earth

What’s that you say? 51% of profits! You heard that right! We at ContactsforLess.ca celebrate Earth Day everyday. We donate 51% of our entire profits to the non-profit organization of your choice. And we do this with the future health of our beloved big blue in mind. Future generations: we’ve got your back.

It is a no-brainer that being socially responsible, that is giving back to the planet our fair share, is simply the right thing to do. Companies that are socially responsible are simply companies that care.

Somehow, in the story of capitalism and business, something has gone wrong. As businesses thrive and become bigger, our planet is suffering. We are trashing our planet, our communities and even, our health. In the words of Annie Leonard from The Story of Stuff:

“We depend on this planet to eat, drink, breathe, and live. Figuring out how to keep our life support system running needs to be our number-one priority. Nothing is more important than finding a way to live together – justly, respectfully, sustainably, joyfully – on the only planet we can call home.”

The idea of being a business that is involved with the sustainability of our planet through social responsibility should be something that is ingrained into the business’ DNA. For us to turn around the ugly side of business, businesses must make a conscious change of nature. Truly, is it even possible for business to continue thriving when they are based on a finite model of maximizing profit regardless of the consequences?

Changing this business paradigm requires companies to embrace a change where although they want to make money, they also care about the effect that their business model has on society and the environment. And this change should be reflected in the jobs businesses provide, the products they make, the ways in which they use resources, and even how they put their profits to use.

Looking at other corporate giants who are becoming more involved with corporate social responsibility, like Coca Cola and Visa, we can debunk the myth that giving back to the planet is not financially sustainable.

Both Coca Cola and Visa have benefited from the outputs of their social responsibility programs. There are many places in the world that can largely benefit from the profits companies could be donating to help create jobs, better education systems, better healthcare and food. All in all, this creates a multiplier effect within the local economy that becomes a long-term investment for both the companies and local governments.

Save Money, Save the Planet

This way of doing business is a major rethinking of the goals of traditional profit-making systems and social responsibility merged together. It implies both the sustainability of the business, without forgetting the sustainability of the environment. The idea that companies don’t have any ethical responsibility for the consequence of their actions on society and the environment simply does not make sense. This antiquated view is finite and not sustainable.

All that is needed this Earth Day, is to make businesses conscious that what the planet needs is a re-conception of what the purpose of business is.

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Under the Dome of Pollution

under the dome documentary jing chaiThe documentary-style film produced by a Chinese investigative journalist and environmental activist, Chai Jing, has been viewed over 300 million times since its release last Saturday. Being hailed as the Chinese “An Inconvenient Truth,” the film has been an eye-opener for the Chinese public regarding the real environmental cost of China’s economic boom.

In the 104-minute film, Chai offers a look at the real environmental cost that China’s 30 years of breakneck economic development has produced. Since its release, Under the Dome has been compared to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” since it has created a movement of widespread social reflection for the growing air pollution problem in China.

Social Reflection on Air Pollution Problem

In the past four years, thousands of news reports and articles have been published regarding China’s growing air pollution problem. Various NGO campaigns have also tried raising awareness towards the air pollution problem by highlighting the effects air pollution has on health. This influenced the Chinese government in announcing war against the air pollution problem in 2014.

However, the majority of Chinese people simply complain about the air pollution problem upon occasion without doing anything about it. The film suggests that the Chinese public has not had the time or the inclination to really reflect deeply on the causes of the smog polluting the environment. They have simply come to accept air pollution as a fact of life.

Chai’s film has become a mirror of inner reflection in which everyone can see himself or herself. The dome effect that Chai describes she feels her family lives under due to air pollution, has sparked a wide range of public discussion ranging from environmental protection regulation, energy reform, to science communication and even humanity.

It is worth noting that Chai herself states that her motivations for making the film were completely personal ones, at first. She apparently paid “little attention” to the ubiquitous smog in her city, confusing it for simply fog—that is, until she got pregnant.

Chai’s reasoning behind the making of this documentary about air pollution seems to reflect common human behavior—the way people generally are. It is not until something starts affecting us directly, that we really being to care. Part of the issue that Under the Dome raises about air pollution is that it is perceived as an issue that happens to someone else. We perceive environmental issues and climate change as problems that are affecting someone else, happening in the future, occurring in a different place.

air pollution china girl never seen real stars

 

 

Government Reaction

Although the film has sparked a critical movement for China’s government to deal with the environmental challenges regarding the ubiquitous air pollution problem, the film shows that a bigger fight has been won. Although the film has now been banned in China, the film’s relative boldness on a potentially controversial subject reached more than 300 million views before it was banned.

Rather than having been ignored, the documentary actually gained the praise of some higher-ups in the Chinese government. China’s new environmental minister even commented on it noting that the film highlights the “growing public concern over environmental protection and threats to human health” that the air pollution problem creates.

During legislative meetings last Friday, China’s President Xi Jinping announced a new zero-tolerance plan meant to tackle air pollution, including slashing coal dependence. President Xi Jinping stated that China will “punish, with an iron hand, any violators who destroy ecology or environment, with no exceptions.”

As the Chinese economy begins to slow down, the biggest challenge to President Xi Jinping’s governance will be in maintaining economic development. Part of Xi’s new legislation intends to reduce the reliance on the traditional economies that created the air pollution problem and replace them with new green economies. Although it cannot be said the extent to which Under the Dome might influence Chinese environmental protection policies in the future, it has already influenced public opinion on the matter. Speeches by President Xi Jinping (as stated above) are noteworthy however, and may reflect the growing sentiment across China, that sustainability may actually be as important as economic growth.

An Eye Opener

china air pollutionUnder the Dome is a clear indication that much like its economic reality, China’s political environment is changing in an unprecedented pace. Despite the film being highly critical of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) environmental regulations, the film was not blocked from popular Chinese websites until 6 days after its release.

There is no doubt that Under the Dome has tested the boundaries of freedom of speech and public opinion in China. The phenomenal response and in-depth discussions that the documentary has sparked has loosened the control the CCP’ has over ideology and public opinion. As a result of Under the Dome, it is likely that more opinion leaders like Chai will lead and dominate public opinion in China in a matter of time. Today people in China are talking about the environment; perhaps tomorrow they may talk about democracy. It is just a matter of time before the Chinese people begin to demand freedom of speech.