Sunday, February 9, 2014
I am a townie. I am not a city girl and definitely not a country girl. I panic if a road becomes narrow and if it becomes dirt I have palpitations , and there are no words to describe the nausea that sweeps me if I have to go through water. I however have the utmost respect and admiration for country people, for the work they do and the love for their lifestyle. If they didn't love it they wouldn't do it, the hours and hours of back breaking work sometimes for little return. A lot of farmers are now in the midst of a terrible terrible drought. They have had little or no rain. They are running out of water, they are running out of feed and if they can source feed or water the price is exorbitant and they just don't have the money. The livestock they love is dying in front of their eyes. They need help, they need awareness, they did not ask for this, no matter what plans they had in place they have run out now, it has gone on for too long. I am a townie, I am uneducated in these matters but I know people are hurting and the run on effect will hurt us all. SH was a rural financial counsellor for his last few years. This is a not for profit organisation who go in and try to help those farmers in financial trouble, sometimes they can liase with financial organisations on the farmers behalf, listen and suggest sometimes the hard alternatives, refer on to other organisations. Although he found it in some ways the most rewarding work he had done it was also the most heartbreaking and stressful and he always brought it home with him. Mental health and suicide are real and happening. Often the farmers can see no light at the end of the tunnel. At one forum he heard of a farmers wife who shopping with a neighbor sourced towells at an op shop to make sanitary towells for the four female members of the family to use each month, this is happening in Australia the lucky country. Let's hope the government step in with some drought relief sooner rather than later and let's all say a prayer for our friends and family trying to survive on the land.