Channelling the Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect describes how a single small change can result in large differences at a later time.  It has its origins in the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being dependent on whether or a not a distant butterfly has flapped its wings earlier.

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines last week, it was the storm’s impact and aftermath that was front and center.  The typhoon was one of the largest ever recorded.  As it made landfall in the central Philippines, the sea surged ashore.  More than 4 million people were displaced by the devastation and thousands died.

HI-USA adapted the Butterfly Effect in its recent annual report to illustrate how small learnings and acts of friendship while on a hostel trip can have a big influence later in people’s lives.

And it’s in this spirit that HI-USA is reaching out to make a difference in the lives of young Philippine travelers now in the United States whose families and friends back home may have been impacted by Haiyan.  These young people happened to choose this time to travel outside their own country.  Away from home, they may be facing uncertainty, or worse.

• We are offering our help with contacting home, extending stays longer than usual, and sharing Philippine consulate contact details.

• We are refunding in full all unused individual and group reservations made for overnight stays by Philippine citizens. If changes need to be made to travel plans, we want to fully support them.

• We are refunding in full HI-USA memberships purchased by Philippine citizens, upon request.

While the Butterfly Effect has its roots in science, it has wider cultural meaning.  Humanitarian relief depends on individual gifts and other acts of kindness by millions around the world collectively making a big difference in the devastated lives of strangers.  In choosing to respond through our mission work, HI-USA is focusing its efforts in the way we can contribute best.

Like the Butterfly Effect, we personally can make a difference thousands of miles away in the Philippines.  Consider a gift to the Red Cross.  To make a text donation, text the word TYPHOON to 90999 for a $10 donation.

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