Yesterday, an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude struck Nepal at a location around 50 miles from Kathmandu—wreaking havoc on its capital city, causing avalanches in the Himalayas and even affecting parts of India.
At today’s count, over 2,000 are confirmed dead and the injured are approaching 5,000—with both these numbers likely to rise as more victims are uncovered from the debris.
And tens of thousands of survivors have been left homeless. With children accounting for half the country’s population, they are particularly vulnerable at this time. (1)
The images coming out of Nepal are distressing—to put it mildly. Natural disasters have a way of obliterating our prejudices and bringing compassion to the fore.
Around the world, people are asking, “How can I help?”
Practically, for most people, all we can do is donate cash to the organisations who can use it to help the relief efforts on the ground. And each of us can only give what we can. But energetically, we can all contribute in some way.
In terms of cash donations, please remember that every little counts—the cumulative effect of even five dollar contributions can be millions raised. So, for those in a position to make any kind of donation, below is a list of agencies that are being endorsed by Charitynavigator.com as trustworthy organisations who can translate your cash into much-needed care: (2)
CARE is an international aid agency with operations already established in Nepal, where their everyday work focuses on addressing the systemic and structural causes of poverty and social injustice. In response to the earthquake, they are co-ordinating with international emergency response agencies to assist in getting relief delivered where it’s needed. (3)
AmeriCares has sent an emergency response team from their Mumbai-based office in India. Relief workers are preparing shipments of medical aid and relief supplies for survivors. (4)
Catholic Relief Services is an international humanitarian agency which also has operations already established in Nepal. They are in the process of procuring and supplying temporary shelters, water and hygiene and sanitation materials, to assist the multitudes of survivors now rendered homeless. (5)
Direct Relief focus on providing medical assistance. They are working in partnership with ten Nepal-based organisations to provide relief in the valley around Kathmandu, “where medical facilities are overflowing with patients seeking care.” (6)
Global Giving helps charities and social entrenpreneurs to raise money to fund community projects. It has send up a fund specifically to provide financial aid to agencies providing relief efforts in Nepal. “All donations to this fund will support disaster recovery and relief efforts in response to the region of Nepal impacted by this earthquake. Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted local organizations.” (7)
Save the Children is an international agency dedicated to promoting children’s rights and providing relief and support to children in developing countries. They have been working in Nepal since 1976, with extensive programs throughout the country. Their response to this crisis is focussed on protecting vulnerable children, as well as providing relief to families. They plan to use ten percent of all donations to their Nepal fund to prepare for future emergencies. (8)
The Seva Foundation is a US-based agency which also has a long-established presence in Nepal. Known for their work treating blindness, they have also set up an emergency relief fund to help assist those in need. (9)
Also worth considering are:
UNICEF—the United Nations program dedicated to helping children in developing countries. They are also responding to the quake and are working to deliver child protection, tarpaulins, water purification tablets, hygiene kits and nutrition supplies to those in need. (10)
Oxfam—an international agency working against poverty, hunger and injustice in 90 countries around the world, including Nepal. Their aid workers on the ground are assessing humanitarian needs while “a team of technical experts are preparing to fly from the UK with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food supplies.”
Of course, I realise that there are many people who wish to help but feel helpless, because they may genuinely not be in a position to donate cash. Or they may feel that simply isn’t enough.
Whether or not a financial contribution is an option for you, we can all send love to the region—to the victims and to those working tirelessly to alleviate the devastation and suffering.
In the form of meditation, prayer, or simply intention—I urge you to take some time out of your day to sit and send loving energy in the direction of Nepal. It may not seem like much, but it is something.
And we must all do what we can.
Sources & Further information:
(6) Direct Relief
(7) Global Giving
Author: Hilda Carroll
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Mapbox at Flickr