Mark D. J. Aldiss
78 Glan Gors Harlech Gwynedd LL46 2NX
07747 838 440
Wednesday, 28 February 2001 2:12 PM
Patrick Stanton M.C., M.A., F.N.A.R.A., A.P.R.O
The King’s Manor
University of York
Dear Patrick Stanton,
I am writing to you as someone who I heard of From Roderick Jarvis at the Time of the Rwanda crisis. I tried to help raise money and find a source of sanitary supplies.
I think we talked once at the time but I am unsure as I have Grand Mal epilepsy which chops bits out- or the connection to them it seems and possibly ADHD or something else that is still undiagnosed.
Forgive me if the following rambles a bit- I will have been over it many times before it is sent to you so you don’t waste time reading it for nothing.
During the huricanes in Nicaragua and Honduras I wanted to do something to help. I had no money, no personal reserves of energy, little belief in beaurocracy and a stuffed up sense of self worth.
I contacted the water purifier company that produced the personal water purifiers that APRO used in Rwanda. They had £100,000 worth of UN rated water purifiers sitting their but could not get anyone to allow anything to be done with them- thus letting many lives vanish because of beaurocracy.
I tried to do something about this but was working with no reserve and could only hope that they got used.
I contacted the company that I had talked to at the time of Rwanda who supplied a gel that could be used for sterilising faesces in camps so that the threat of camp disentery is lessened.
They told me that this gel was now being used in disasters world wide. They were working with someone at the time so I removed myself from their circuit so they could get on.
what could I do?
during one news update I heard that loads of warm weather clothing was being sent because people in colder climates were presuming that it was cold and wet, not just wet.
Then I heard that tools like chainsaws were needed, as well as larger equipment like plant, generators, tractors, diggers, etc..
(you mention a list in your paper ‘Intervention Following War (A Case History) A promise to a Kurdish child’ which I had at the time. Pages 8-9 being the most interesting to me at this time.
From my own personal experience I knew of quantities of the items needed
domestic utensiles in holiday homes,
old but serviceable tents in quantity at camp sites,
chainsaws, generators and hand tools in the barns and trucks of the loggers and farmers that populate this area,
clothing of all sorts in attics and bin bags throughout Gwynedd.
Old stock sitting in warehouses and the backrooms of small shops.
I also knew from asking that almost all the items sitting there would be given without a second thought.
But how to know what is actually wanted and how do you get that need fulfilled?
I had the Internet.
I used the internet to actually make real contact with individuals in many different government departments, businesses and individuals in the countries involved.
I then went back to the internet and tried to focus on all the sites that could be of real help.
These I pulled into a website that gave direct links to any site that offered something relevant.
I found transport routes from my front door in Wales ( a known difficult place to transport to and from) and, therefore presumably, a route from most front doors in the UK to most personal abodes in the countries involved ( from the local red cross shop, via the empty banana boats to the use of American Angels of mercy type flying groups who could drop anything anywhere, all of whom I talked to).
This meant that, in theory, a disaster struck village could have delivered the supplies it requires rather than a hotch potch of unspecified clothing, tools, etc..
Based on this I formulated a plan for building a net based magazine which acted much as any of the auction/sales sites in operation today.
It also had another side.
It was a major help site. (The format for this came from a company that ran a search site called inference.com. The page for searching was completely devoid of links to the companies actual trading site. I did not realise it was a commercial companies free offering to the internet comunity- it was only later on that the company changed its site to link and advertise its own commercial presence)
Based on simple programming and the proliferation of ways of getting small programmes onto most computers at home and in businesses (Computer Magazines, the Internet and installation on new machines) a button could be added to the desktop of subscribers/users to either the sales or help side of the service which would
Give access to a database (as much or as little stored on the local machine) which gave
Helpful local addresses and phone numbers.
Access to a local transport timetable.
Small business database
As well as any consumer specified numbers.
Link to a database of facts and figures about related subjects to do with getting or giving help in this world today.
Link to a larger, online, help directory which would have access to commercial and non commercial data, info on disasters, organisations involved with aid, charities, ways of helping, etc,.
and another area which stems from the commercial side set out below.
The commercial area would be somewhere to
goods and services.
The difference would be that any of the goods on sale could be tagged by the seller as divertable.
When tagged as divertable any goods or services could be redirected into helping with a personal, local, regional, national or international disasters.
I talked with the webmaster at Oxfam uk about this at the time but could not get my act together enough at the time because of the above mentioned head state to be confident of not wasting their time.
I contacted Norman Helle Lorenzen of our local Business Connect and he helped, with the director of a local computer company, to set up Netseller Ltd. They offered finance, Initial programming of the site structure, the buying of the wesite, The first 200 customers and more.
Within 6 months the local company had folded without any work being done.
Norman Lorenzen had moved to another area.
My head was getting more ‘rocky’ by the minute and my marriage was breaking up and I was achieving nothing.
York 2001 >