As an Angeleno, I have great respect for earthquakes. So I would like to send love from one fault line to another–from California to Nepal.
I don’t have any postcards from Nepal, but have long been interested in the country thanks to the Snail Family’s late friend, artist Margi Scharff . I first met Margi at a screening of Rangi Changi (a Nepali term meaning “all colors mixed together”), a film by BBC journalist Daniel Lak about Margi in Kathmandu. Margi’s collages took a meditative mandala-style turn during her time there.
Now a school friend, Natalie Dupille, is making art in Nepal. Natalie has been traveling the last eight months, spending the most recent two in Nepal, and quickly picking up the language. After the first earthquake while she was trekking, she decided to stay on, serving as a translator in the relief effort. (She is safe after today’s quake too.) Natalie’s travels are chronicled through whimsical daily sketches and comics on her blog.
Regarding aid, Natalie posted some very helpful info:
Hi all – a quick report about volunteering here. Unless you’re qualified, don’t do it right now. There is a resource shortage and so many people rush here to help out with no idea what to do that it causes more harm than good in all the chaos. I had been planning on leaving for these reasons but because of my language ability am able to stay and help as a translator. Again, the best solution from home right now is to continue to spread the word and donate to worthy organizations. Come volunteer when rebuilding starts after the monsoon season ends in September and efforts are better organized.
It is impossible to say that any one org or family of the following is better to donate to than any other but here are a few places contributions will be used immediately and very very much appreciated.
1. Sunrise Farm, who I worked with briefly in kathmandu and who took me in as one of their own. They are a permaculture farm *in* kathmandu (amazing) and provide educational opportunities, training, and farm work for locals and foreigners. Their cow also supplies milk for much of their neighborhood. Their house was badly damaged as was the cow’s shed and they are in need of shelter. Donations will go to shelter immediately and rebuilding. If you know of anyone in Nepal who is looking for volunteer work, thy are hoping to start reconstruction efforts as soon as it is safe to do so. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. My Sherpa friend Dawa’s organization is raising money to rebuild homes in the Everest region where his nonprofit organization, Classrooms in the Clouds, works. Many homes in the area, as well as schools they work in, were badly damaged and money will go to shelter and rebuilding efforts.
Donate via: www.classroomsintheclouds.org
3. I met Unaffiliated Locals of Nepal while I was just in Pokhara, a very together group of locals and foreigners working independently to direct aid immediately to small villages that have not yet been reached. Money will be used directly for food, shelter, and hygiene supplies and transport to villages. Get in touch via FB page: http://m.facebook.com/profile.php…
4. The org I will be working with, Embolden Nepal, is a disaster relief org and money will also be used immediately for aid to villages that have not yet been reached or are still in dire need of shelters and food. Just make sure to mark your donation specifically to Nepal relief efforts. Thanks a million to Katie Rose Fischer-Price who coordinated this and is in Dhading today doing preliminary assessment. You are a true gem!
Donate at http://www.emboldenalliances.org
It seems counterintuitive to donate to all these random organizations, but as Nepal is still in such a state of chaos, these groups are the best to donate to as they have the most flexibility and can generally more quickly provide relief than larger charity orgs and NGOs right now. Save later donations for the big ones.
San Andreas Fault