Some of you may remember that in January I spent a week in Nepal and shared photos of the beauty of Kathmandu and its architecture, and the inspiration I felt learning about community building efforts there. Much of the area I photographed in January is now covered in rubble, and hour by hour the death toll rises as news comes in from rural areas.
One center of community life that I visited in Kathmandu was luckily built with earthquakes in mind, and aside from some broken windows, it remains largely undamaged. It now houses some 200 people from the neighborhood, and friends there are now trying to see how best to assure everyone’s safety and well-being in the face of limited food, water, and electricity as well as periodic aftershocks. Another friend who is now in the US learned that his family home is intact but at least one relative has been killed in the collapse of a building, and that much of the rest of the village is now gone.
I am sure that like me, many of you are pained to see the devastation on tv and to think of the suffering of so many people in Nepal. But the response of individuals and nations around the world who are mobilizing resource to assist also shows a recognition on a profound level of the fundamental oneness of humankind and is, for me, a bright spot of encouragement and hope for both the people of Nepal and for the world as a whole.
I don’t have specific organizations to recommend, but I would suggest that if you would like to contribute you choose organizations that have a history working in Nepal and an established network to help get resources where they need to go. GlobalGiving is a site that introduces charitable organizations worldwide that have gone through their due diligence process, and the Charity Navigator evaluates organizations that have tax exempt status in the US (which of course eliminates the vast majority of organizations in Nepal itself or located outside the US). I am sure there are other sites that can help you find suitable organizations as well, but those are two I came across in my searches.