To my dear friends, family and the loyal patrons of Kaffmandu Coffee House: Many of you have heard news of the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal, and have asked what you can do to help the people of my homeland in this time of desperate need. For the past few days, I have been directing you to the web sites of organizations such as the Red Cross and Oxfam where you could make donations in support of the earthquake relief effort. Now, however, Kaffmandu Coffee House will take a more active and direct role in fundraising for and assisting the millions of Nepalese citizens affected by this tragedy.
Two of my dearest and longtime friends have offered to match the donations made by family, friends and loyal patrons of Kaffmandu Coffee House to Nepal earthquake relief, dollar for dollar up to $10,000 cumulatively. They suggested I establish a CROWDRISE fundraising webpage, and challenge everyone I know to make a contribution which will then be DOUBLED by their dollar for dollar match. I am so inspired by their kindness and generosity, that I am personally committing another $5,000 to the cumulative matching limit, therefore making it possible to contribute $30,000 to earthquake relief with $15,000 of donations! So, I am asking everyone who reads this to support this effort, and to ask others from your circle of family, friends, colleagues, etc., to visit this webpage (www.crowdrise.com/kaffmandurelief) so that they might choose to help out as well.
Please give as generously as you are able and comfortable to this very worthy effort. The damage to buildings and infrastructure in Nepal is massive, and the anguish and devastation of its people is almost indescribable. Thousands of homes and buildings have been damaged or destroyed, including many of the country’s oldest and most beautiful temples, palaces, and government buildings. Much of the country is living outdoors, day and night, either because their homes are gone or they are too afraid to be indoors. Many in cities like Kathmandu, Gorkha and others are without electricity, and food and water are scarce. Throughout the country, entire villages have been levelled by the quake or resulting landslides, but due to its topography, much of Nepal can only be reached by days of hiking from the relatively few cities which dot its landscape. With few roads and but a modest airport in Kathmandu, and grass airstrips mostly throughout the rest of the country, relief logistics are going to be staggeringly difficult which will only serve to exacerbate and prolong the hardships of every Nepali just as the cold, wet monsoon season is setting in.
With these challenges in mind, we have given much thought to which charity we wished to pledge the support of the Kaffmandu relief effort. While there are a number of excellent organizations working in Nepal and responding to this disaster from all over the world, our focus was to identify a group with an already existing relationship in Nepal, people on the ground in-country, familiarity with the unique logistical challenges posed by Nepal’s topography, enough size and scale to bring meaningful resources to bear, and a reputation for tenacity and integrity in the face of the seemingly impossible. For these reasons, we have chosen to support CARE.
CARE has been working in Nepal since 1978, focusing primarily on matters of clean water and sanitation, food production, economic prosperity and opportunities for youth and women. Because of its ongoing work in Nepal, CARE already had one of the largest humanitarian teams on the ground in Nepal at the time of the earthquake. Many of its team members are Nepalis who have suffered their own losses, but are also able to help make CARE one of the most efficient and effective organizations at assisting in the disaster areas. Within days, CARE members were at work distributing emergency shelter and hygiene kits to victims of the quake in Kathmandu and Gorkha. As time goes on, CARE’s connections to the rural villages of Nepal provide it unique positioning to assess the damage and assist in the harder-to-reach areas not yet heard from.
In addition to CARE, however, there are many dedicated and effective organizations working to bring relief to the people of Nepal. While by no means an exhaustive list, we highlight a few of those organizations below should you prefer to contribute directly to a charitable organization of your own choosing. The organizations are as follows:
Doctors without Borders
I offer my sincerest gratitude and most heartfelt thanks in advance to everyone who donates anywhere in support of the Nepal earthquake relief effort.