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Raising Awareness for Disaster in Myanmar

By Steve Grove

Head of News and Politics

Last Saturday's devastating cyclone in Myanmar has so far claimed the lives of over 22,000 people and that toll continues to rise. Yet in what has become the largest natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami that ravaged Sri Lanka, aid to Myanmar has had trouble reaching those in need. The military government that runs the small Southeast Asian country has let in little aid from agencies and is not granting visas to aid workers to enter the country.

On YouTube, the effort to raise awareness around the need to help Myanmar has grown in the last 48 hours. Reporters are uploading videos of footage from the devastated region, such as this video from NoCommentTV, whose simple approach of showing news images "without any opinion or bias" paints a compelling portrait of the disaster. Al Jazeera posted this clip to give viewers an overview of what's taken place in the region since Saturday. And YouTube users such as relex109 are posting picture slideshows from Myanmar.

Others are using YouTube to raise money for the effort. World Vision's Executive Director uploaded a call for donations via his organization's YouTube channel, and U Uttara, the Secretary General of the International Burmese Monks Organization, made an appeal for funds on's YouTube channel. (You can donate directly here.)

But perhaps the most unique call for donations came from YouTube user Nightwatcher1982 of the Netherlands. In the video below, he makes a personal pledge to the YouTube community: between now and May 25, for every video response to his video, he'll donate $5 to the Red Cross. And if your video is "really good," he'll donate $10:

Let's hope more and more money is raised to provide relief to the stricken region -- and that Myanmar's government lets it in.


Steve G.