Crisis in Nepal: What can we do?
Helping others is a human trait, as we have evolved to be social animals. After the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the needs are great. The death toll stands at 7500 (at this writing), but continues to rise, and the UN has estimated that 1.4 million people will need food aid.
CFI (US) has activated its SHARE program; for donors in the US, this is an excellent method to ensure that your gift to disaster recovery goes to a secular organization doing important work you care about; CFI Canada is currently evaluating options to establish the SHARE program here n Canada and we expect to make an announcement in the near future.
In the meantime, for those who want to help, here are a few suggestions for making donations to secular organizations:
Canadian Government Gift Matching Program: For donations made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities between April 25 and May 25, the Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. This matching contribution will support humanitarian, early recovery and reconstruction assistance in Nepal through projects undertaken by Canada’s international humanitarian and non-governmental partners.
- The Humanitarian Coalition includes Care, Oxfam, Plan Canada, and Save the Children
$75 can provide emergency food for 15 days
$112 can provide clean drinking water for 12 families
$220 can provide emergency shelter to a family of 4
- Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF Canada) is sending eight teams to assist those affected by the earthquake in Nepal.
- The Foundation Beyond Belief’s Humanist Disaster Recovery Drive is currently collecting funds which they will be distributing to local organizations, details to be announced. (Note that donations made through FBB will not be eligible for Canadian tax receipts, and will not attract the matching contributions.)
- CARE is distributing shelter and hygiene kits to survivors in remote areas.
Action of a Friend of the Centre For Inquiry Canada
Jeff Rasley, a friend of CFI Canada (based in the US) sent us this note regarding his action to help the people of Nepal:
Namaste Friends,The Basa Village Foundation USA Inc. has opened a GoFundMe account as a way for those who would like to respond to the pressing and immediate needs in Nepal due to the earthquake. However, we will be prudent in how funds are distributed and remain true to our corporate principles of culturally sensitive development in partnership with the local people who will do the work and own the results of our financial contributions. We have a sister foundation with HQ in Katmandu, Basa Village Foundation Nepal NGO, which is in charge of distribution of funds raised for purchase of needed goods and services. All labor for re-building and construction is provided by villagers without compensation. We do not have paid staff or administrative costs as all our foundation work is through the efforts of our volunteer officers and members.Our main contact in Nepal, Niru Rai, Chairman of BVF-Nepal reports that Basa village has suffered catastrophic damage. (see below) So, the specific goal of this fundraising campaign will be to help re-build Basa and to restore the village school, hydro-electric system, water system, smokeless stoves and the other village infrastructures the BVF-USA has supported. We won’t distribute any funds until we can make a meaningful assessment of needs of the village and, as is our practice, our Board will be guided by our friends in Nepal to determe how we can best help the villagers of Basa.GoFundMe account Link: http://www.gofundme.com/basanepalOr, you can make donations direct to the Foundation.Check payee: Basa Village FoundationMail care of: Jeff Rasley, 6422 Ralston Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220If any of you belong to an organization that could host a program on Nepal Earthquake Relief, please check with me about it. I and other board members of the BVF-USA will be able to do “soft fundraisers” to help.Thank you for your consideration.