Not long after the beginning of their terrible civil war Bosnians became aware of, and thoroughly fed up with, fleeting visitors to their country who arrived armed with promises of help and equipped with cameras to record their visit. Unfortunately too many were like Macbeth’s “poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more”. Most Bosnians described how they felt like the subjects of “war tourism” and soon became disenchanted with all visitors.
In the past year the world has become accustomed to disasters of one sort or another. Quite obviously the worst ones are those produced by nature but in the last year we have witnessed man made tragedies that were unfortunately very close to home.
When reading the journalistic accounts of these events one could be forgiven for believing that the situation is quite hopeless and individuals and communities are either slow or incapable of responding. My own experience in the last 10 years ranging from Bosnia through Lebanon to the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan and now in Sri Lanka has lead me to believe that there is often another – rarely told – story of generosity and courage that does not satisfy the voyeuristic needs of the daily news and therefore it is downplayed. The donors to IDEALS have contributed to the story of hope and reconstruction that occurred after one of these overwhelming catastrophes.
IDEALS financially supported the first Primary Trauma Care course in Delhi at the Apollo Hospital in September 2005. This was the first of such courses that had taken place with a Pakistani teaching faculty, Indian doctors and IDEALS Chairman, John Beavis. It confirmed that warm friendship can exist between the two countries when political differences are forgotten and was entirely within the founding ethos of the charity.