Nepal is very close to my heart. I worked there for two years in the Peace Corps and also have been doing business with Nepal for 20 years — much of the jewelry on this site is made in Nepal. I am saddened by what happened and worried for my friends and colleagues. I still have not yet heard from my business partner in Kathmandu.
A day after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, it is clear that the devastation to human life and property has been catastrophic, and it will likely be weeks or months before the extent of the damage is assessed. Much emphasis has been on Kathmandu and Mt. Everest, however preliminary reports indicate there is also heavy damage in the rural areas. Friends I have heard from in Kathmandu are sleeping outside along with tens of thousands of other residents and many aftershocks have been occurring since the main quake. It will take the country years to rebuild. The immediate concern is taking care of the basic human needs of those suffering.
The best way to help at this time is to donate to credible aid organizations that are mobilizing now. After some deliberation the Friends of Nepal, the group I am a member of, has decided to support two local NGOs on the front lines — Patan Hospital and Bir Hospital. Both of these institutions are well equipped to help with the disaster and in fact are already doing so, treating hundreds of quake victims each day and saving lives. They are not equipped, however, with the resources. Most of the victims are impoverished with no health insurance or money and these hospitals will be under severe financial duress. Local capacity is critical and we feel strongly that supporting these hospitals is one of the best ways we can make a positive impact.
Friends of Nepal has launched a fund that we are kickstarting with $3,000. The fund will be accepting donations for only 5 days, through On May 1. Shortly thereafter we will be sending a lump sum to one or both of these hospitals. Contributing to a collective such as this has a few benefits: (1) it is more efficient to send one payment than having 50-100+ individuals each make a small donation — more $ will go directly to services and less to administrative overhead; (2) FON is vetting both hospitals and will ensure the funds get the right place and as quickly as possible; (3) without pooling our resources it would be very difficult to contribute directly to local non-governmental organizations — these hospitals do not have systems in place to accept individual donations from overseas.
If you would like to help, I have setup two ways for you to do so. When you place your order, you can add a donation to the relief fund at this link. We will be sending a batch of $ early next week so if you are not going to be placing an order that soon you can donate directly using this link. Any funds you add to your order at Wholesalegemshop.com will be forwarded directly to Friends of Nepal’s fund and will make a big difference. Thank you!