In the wake of Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, University of Virginia students, faculty and staff – like many around the world – found themselves brainstorming ways to help as the tragic stories and photos streamed from the country’s capital, Katmandu.
In response, the Nepalese Student Association has planned two weekend events as part of its “Stay Strong for Nepal” campaign: a “Noms for Nepal” fundraiser on Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. and a candlelight vigil on Sunday at 8 p.m.
Saturday’s event will be held at three local restaurants – Himalayan Fusion, Kuma, and Marco and Luca – and a portion of the proceeds will go to the World Food Program’s emergency relief efforts in Nepal.
Sunday’s vigil in the McIntire Amphitheater will include reflections from students and community members personally impacted by the disaster.
The Nepalese Student Association also raised money throughout the week during several coffee hours at the McIntire School of Commerce, where students could make cash donations or send donations with the mobile payment app Venmo.
“We hope to spread awareness about the tragic earthquake that took place this past Saturday,” second-year student Aaku Tamrakar, vice president of the Nepalese Student Association, said. “Most importantly, we want to encourage people to act by raising donations for the relief efforts in Nepal.”
The earthquake is the worst to hit Nepal in more than 80 years. More than 5,000 fatalities and 10,000 injuries have been reported and casualties are expected to rise as rescue efforts continue. In total, more than 8 million people have been affected by the disaster, which caused extensive damage both at the time of the quake and in subsequent aftershocks, landslides and avalanches.
On Tuesday, U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan sent a message to students encouraging support of relief organizations and providing a list of suggested charities working in Nepal. Sullivan also noted that the University is providing support to three U.Va. students currently in Nepal and to approximately 20 Nepalese students in Charlottesville.
The students currently in Nepal “are all safe and secure,” said Dudley Doane, director of U.Va.’s International Studies Office. “They are sheltering in place under direction from their study-abroad program, local authorities and the U.S. Embassy in Katmandu.”
Money raised within the University community will be used to support ongoing rescue and recovery efforts in Nepal, provide aid to the tens of thousands of displaced Nepalese and promote long-term recovery in the country.
How You Can Help:
- Contribute directly to international charities currently working in Nepal. Public Radio International has compiled a list of vetted charities doing relief work. USAID also lists a number of partner charities responding to the earthquake.
- Contribute to the American Red Cross earthquake relief efforts at www.redcross.org. Be sure to designate “Nepal Earthquake Relief” as your donation recipient.
- Donate to various relief organizations in the country via PayPal, which has waived all processing fees to ensure that 100 percent of donations will go directly to the selected organization.
- Attend Saturday’s fundraiser and Sunday’s vigil to show support for the University’s Nepalese students.
- A U.Va. staff member is raising money for an orphanage for earthquake survivors.