Evangeline Han, a 16-year-old YJI student reporter from Melaka, Malaysia, wrote the letter below to reach out to the people of Brazil, who like those in Australia, are also experiencing terrible flooding. In Brazil, there are also mudslides resulting in the death of hundreds of people and vast devastation. Unfortunately, YJI does not have any students in Brazil (but we would welcome them!) so we have no firsthand reporting from that nation. We encourage all world-minded people to follow the news from Brazil and Australia (and everywhere else) and please continue to support YJI’s efforts to connect teen writers, artists and photographers with peers around the globe, teach journalism, foster cross-cultural understanding, and promote and defend a free youth press.
I found out about this terrible disaster through the television news. I watched footage of houses being taken apart by the sheer force of the mudslides and disappearing down the river of mud. I was shocked by the enormity of this tragedy, more so by the damage and the death toll.
Frankly, I am at the loss of what to say.
Some of you have lost friends, others, family members.
The question that is probably going through most of your minds at this moment is, why did this happen? I don’t have the answer.
But I just want to say this: please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many around the world.