Home » News » Features » President's Message
Message from WACS President
Gissur Gudmundsson 2nd Message
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
This message is dedicated to all the volunteers that are working hard in the disaster areas of Myanmar and in the Sichuan region of China.
Reykjavik, June 10th, 2008
On the 29th of May, at 15:45, a strong earthquake of 6.3 shook us up a little in Iceland. Many buildings were damaged in a town 50 kilometres outside our capital city but, thankfully, only a few people suffered minor injuries. This was a serious reminder to us that the reality that the people of Myanmar and Sichuan in China are living could happen to any of us.
In the last weeks, I have received many emails, pictures and information from these regions and I must say that it was sometimes emotionally overpowering to see such devastation. And it’s not over.
Victims of the Earthquake in Sichuan region of China
According to OXFAM International, natural disasters happen 4 times more often now then 20 years ago. The number of people affected by disasters each year has increased about 70 percent compared to the previous decade to about 254 million a year between 1995 and 2004. PER YEAR!
As said by Jeremy Hobbs, the Executive Director of Oxfam International, “Action is needed now to prepare for more disasters otherwise humanitarian assistance will be overwhelmed and recent advances in human development will go into reverse." I think it’s obvious that we need to do something.
Myanmar Chefs Association (MCA) Rice donations
After the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, the WACS Board set up the WACS Disaster Relief Fund which we have used to support colleagues in major disaster areas like the Katrina Hurricane in New Orleans and others around the world.
We need to take action now to build up on this initiative and create a disaster management plan so we can be ready before disasters hit and we can effectively help support and rebuild after they have struck.
At our next Board meeting in mid-July, in Johannesburg, South Africa, we will be discussing this question to try to come up with ideas. Some of these could include a partnership with an important humanitarian organisation such as the Red Cross/ Red Crescent who already have disaster management plans or starting a ‘Chefs without Borders’; a network of chefs that can go to major disaster sites when they happen and help support the victims by cooking for them or by helping in any other way they can.
MCA members with bags of rice to be delivered to the victims
In the meantime, I want to give a special mention and applause to Chef Oliver Soe Thet, President of the Myanmar Chefs Association as well as all of its members. Our colleagues in the Myanmar Chefs Association have coordinated such successful and extraordinary efforts in the worst hit areas of Myanmar. With your donations, they have been able to provide over 76 tons of rice as well as clean water and clothing for the victims of the cyclone. They also helped rebuild houses for those who had lost theirs. I also want to thank John Sloane, WACS Continental Director for Asia, as well as all the presidents and members of the Asian WACS Continental Area.
I also want to thank all of you, the members of WACS, for all the support you have given to our friends and colleagues in need in Myanmar and China.
Finally, I want everyone to remember in prayer our friends and colleagues who have lost friends or family in these tragedies as well as for all the innocent victims of such disasters. And let’s not forget to show each other support and friendship. Life is so precious and our time on earth is really short. We should use it well and do our best to make family, friends and colleagues, and even strangers happy.
If you would like to contribute and make donations to the WACS Disaster Fund and help us prepare for the next time, you can make a contribution to our account, which is at:
P.O. Box 1058
CH-6002 Lucerne / Switzerland
Account No. 4463-225836- 82
IBAN: CH35 0483 5022 5836 8200 0
SWIFT ADRESS; CRESCHZZ80A
Make sure to mention it is for the Disaster Relief Fund.
- The world is changing and so must we. added 18 March 2013
- Get ready for an exiting year: added 14 January 2013
- Dear friends and colleagues, added 19 December 2012
- Dear chefs around the world added 16 November 2012
- Culinary October added 17 October 2012
- International Chefs Day 2012 Focus on "How to Feed the Planet in the Future" added 10 September 2012
- Are we using our time right? added 24 August 2012
- A Step Forward added 15 June 2012
- Thank you for a congress to be remembered added 15 May 2012
- WACS is Bringing Worlds Together added 11 April 2012
- The Crossroad added 16 February 2012
- Our Responsibility as WACS Members added 13 January 2012
- Looking Back and Looking Forward added 21 December 2011
- Education is Our Future added 21 November 2011
- A Focus On Sustainable Cuisine For The Year 2011 And International Chefs Day added 04 October 2011
- World Chefs Tour Against Hunger added 16 August 2011
- The Road Ahead added 08 July 2011
- added 13 June 2011
- A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABLE CUISINE FOR THE YEAR 2011 AND INTERNATIONAL CHEFS DAY added 01 May 2011
- added 11 February 2011
- "Busy Times for Busy People" added 12 November 2010
- Do we really care? added 08 October 2010
- Support added 15 July 2010
- "Go Green with Chefs" added 11 May 2010
- From the Land of Fire and Ice added 19 April 2010
- "World Chefs Without Borders" added 09 March 2010
- Gracias - Thank You - Merci - Danke -Takk! added 12 February 2010
- Raising Membership Awareness added 12 January 2010
- Food For Thoughts Over the Holiday Season added 11 December 2009
- A NEW WEBSITE! added 28 September 2009
- August Message from President added 31 July 2009
- A Wonderful Summer Beginning added 02 July 2009
- 34 Weeks to Go. Are We Ready? added 01 June 2009
- We Are on the Right Path! added 29 April 2009
- Can you feel it? I do! added 13 March 2009
- An Action Packed Month added 14 February 2009
- Great Start to a New Year! added 15 January 2009
- When in Rome added 05 December 2008
- Good Things Come in Small Packages added 17 November 2008
- There is Light at the End of the Tunnel added 23 October 2008
- Four Countries: One Language added 23 September 2008
- Board meets in Johannesburg added 22 August 2008
- A Fruitful First 40 days added 14 July 2008
- Gissur Gudmundsson 1st Message added 23 May 2008