Sri Lanka: Five Ways You Can Help

After the Easter Sunday bombings shook Sri Lanka, the country is desperately seeking to repair damage caused by these attacks. Local authorities and humanitarian charities are working tirelessly to help victims, families and communities heal in the aftermath of the worst violence the country has seen since the end of its civil war in 2009. While Sri Lanka is in a state of national mourning, these are a few ways the rest of the world can help.

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Blood donations

With more than 500 people injured in the attacks, local hospitals are in urgent need of blood donations. If you're in the country, head to the website National Blood Transfusion Service Sri Lanka to find your nearest blood bank. According to the site, just one donation can save as many as three lives.

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Donate to Sri Lankan Red Cross

Multiple fundraisers have been set up to ensure the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society has the means to help those affected by the bombings. Go to the website to donate directly to the society, which helps to connect people separated in the resulting chaos, or to find campaigns targeting more specific areas of help.

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Support Go Fund Me campaigns

There are several Go Fund Me campaigns that have been set up to help local communities and families. Kind Hearted Lankans is a campaign raising money to help by providing mattresses, towels, clothes and personal care items for victims of the attacks. Be sure to do your research when donating to unverified campaigns.

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Spreading awareness over social media

Despite the appalling nature of these attacks, Google searches for the incident are significantly fewer than those for the Notre Dame fire, a week earlier which reported no deaths and very few injuries. Use your Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts to share facts, images and links to campaign website to help raise awareness and much-needed funds.

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Don’t let this define Sri Lanka

While it is important to spread information relating to these attacks, it is equally as essential to remember the soul of the island itself, beyond the horror and bloodshed. The Teardrop Isle, The Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Serendip; Sri Lanka's various epithets provide evidence of the island's peaceful, tranquil nature and soothing ambience. The capital, Colombo, has countless culinary gems and boutique treasure troves, as well as golden, powdery beaches. Friendly faces and vast, disparate landscapes should be images that the words "Sri Lanka" bring to mind rather than devastating headlines.