In the wake of tragedy, there is an innate desire to help wherever possible. Fortunately, international organizations and crowdsourcing websites make it possible to contribute to those who need help the most, no matter where in the world you are. Here's how to help victims and families of New Zealand mosque attacks, because the ripples of this violence are wide reaching.
Gunmen opened fire Friday on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing at least 49 people and injuring dozens more in what has been described as an act of terror, as USA Today reported. By Friday evening, authorities had four people — three men and one woman — in custody, although their identities have not been confirmed. Live footage of the attack, believed to have been filmed by body cameras on the attackers, was uploaded to social media, according to Variety. Police are asking that people not share the links to this “extremely distressing footage,” and officials are “working to have any footage removed.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern explained at her press conference why sharing this content isn't a good idea, according to the BBC. "My message would be that we should not be perpetuating, sharing, giving oxygen to this act of violence, and the message that’s set behind it,” she said. “I ask people, don’t share them.”
Instead of sharing the horrific content, consider taking some of the following action to make a meaningful difference.
Donate to the Victims & Families Directly
This crowdfunding campaign on Launchgood, setup by The New Zealand Islamic Information Centre (NZIIC), is raising money to benefit the victims and families affected by the Christchurch attack, as The New Zealand Herald reported. The money raised there will help those impacted by the attacks to handle immediate needs, allowing them to focus on their grief. “No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way,” the NZIIC told The New Zealand Herald.
Another crowdfunding campaign, established by The New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups on Givealittle, will also provide support and resources for people affected by the Christchurch shootings and their family members, according to The Spinoff. At the time of this writing, the page has already brought in over $2.7 million, reported Stuff.
Finally, the Al Manar trust issued an emergency appeal for funds to help victims. “It is a very tragic situation in Christchurch,” the page reads. “Many of our beloved brothers and sisters were martyred. This is to offer a simple help from the community around New Zealand to support the affected families.”
Donate to Shakti
This nonprofit organization serves migrant and refugee women by working to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women of color. It is also raising money for victims of the mosque attacks, particularly looking to help women who were impacted by the shootings, according to The Spinoff.
Share Support Helplines & Raise Awareness
Condemn Racism & Vocalize Your Support
There is one action that anyone, anywhere can take against terrorists and racists: speak out. Don't let those around you get away with Islamophobic and xenophobic comments and behaviors. The Australian Human Rights Commission uploaded a list of helpful how-to pages on how to take action.
There is much to be done to heal the pain left behind by the attacks in New Zealand. Officials are working to bring about justice and numerous organizations have made it their mission to make lasting change. By getting involved in any of the above ways is one way that you can be a part of the force for good.