Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Transport and Logistics Charity Deserves Our Interest and Continued Support as the Game Changes

Time to Reflect on Those to Whom Disease is an Ever Present Enemy
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Times like these will write an indelible chapter in the book of life of any who live through them. Sometimes it's natural to think only of one's own immediate circumstances, facing up to new challenges, worrying about one's own, and one's family's future. It does some good however to put this into perspective on occasion and realise fighting nature's demons is something others face up to every single day.

As we all peer in to an uncertain future Caroline Barber, Chief Executive of transport charity Transaid has spoken of the difficulties of facing up to the unprecedented challenges in the wake of Covid-19. Like many organisations, Transaid has been adapting and finding new ways of working. As borders started to close and the rate of infection spread, Transaid worked to ensure its people (staff, consultants and volunteers) travelled safely back to their home countries.

These then are the people who fight this fight every day of their working lives, facing down a range of logistical problems and medical conundrums. As Caroline Barber says it is times like these that remind us just how vital the transport and logistics industry is to the running of our daily lives. And that is why the team at Transaid is still hard at work, albeit in their own homes for the UK based team, to continue to solve transport challenges in rural African communities.

This is not a retreat, this is just an unwanted delay to the work which, with the wholehearted support of the logistics community, has seen success in several fields, providing bicycle ambulances to enable pregnant mothers in remote areas to reach hospital in time to ensure the health of the unborn, training commercial vehicle drivers in regions where the death toll on the roads make civilised motorists shudder, and, certainly not least, winning the battle against the hateful malaria, unlike Covid-19, a killer that particularly targets the youngest.

If you are currently sitting at home reading this, take a look at the stories of four special women, or of Arshal who rode his bicycle ambulance 40 kilometres to save the life of his own son, or even Amina, whose own life saving journey to hospital was interrupted by highway robbers who realising the importance of the journey drew back and let her driver pass freely, an act which undoubtedly saved her life.

So when this all passes and we crawl from our caves to rebuild the future, let us hope we do not forget those who devote their lives in the service of strangers in lands far away. Such as Transaid will always hopefully be there and those of us that remain should remember these dark times and consider lending a hand in the fight. Send some cash, volunteer for a cycle challenge when they get back on track, or sign your company up as a corporate supporter. You will be the lucky ones.

Photo: Maimuna, whose mum Amina Abdullah Asiz faced more than medical problems on the road to Obi General Hospital, Nigeria.