By Almudena Rincon (Senior)
Hopelessness. Devastation. Tragedy. Disaster. All these words pop into our minds when we hear about the earthquake that hit Nepal. As we watch videos of destroyed homes, schools, buildings, and national monuments our hearts clench. We observe the suffering in the Nepali population as their homes are torn down and their families ripped apart. A total of 8 million people were affected in Nepal and its two neighboring countries, China and India.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, on April 25th, causing more than 6,200 deaths and affecting a total of 8 million people.
To recover and pull the devastated country back on its feet, international help is being given. Following the same steps we took when the earthquake hit Haiti over 5 years ago, we are donating money to organizations that are working on the reconstruction of the country. Or so they seems. When we donated to Haiti, almost half the funds raised didn’t get to the country. All of the organizations who took the money but never sent it were government organizations.
What can we do to avoid this happening with the donations that are directed towards Nepal? Senn Senior Aadita Saxena, who lived in Nepal for 3 years and whose friends are suffering the aftermath from the earthquake, says, “The money should go for organizations that are actually helping the people. I think it’s better that money goes to the NGOs instead of the government organizations.” Some of the organizations that are sending all their raised money to Nepal are American Peace Corp, UNICEF and Red Cross.
Senn High School students are taking action and working hand in hand with the Red Cross. Nepalese students decided to create a donation drive along the Service Learning Club. David Fingado, the Social Studies teacher who led the drive, says that that they are going to write a check directly for the Red Cross. “So far it’s been really successful,” Fingado says.
Jacob Cedarbaum, Senn Science teacher and moderator of the Service Learning Club, is very proud of his students and says. “One of the major benefits is just the experience that they’re having with putting together a project mostly on their own and taking on a cause that are really passionate about and is important to them.”
According to Fingado, the students raised over $300. Now all we need to do is continue the efforts towards helping the affected. What other steps can we take? Fingado suggests we contact community organizations where our time is best served. “It’s very important for us to look outwards and see what we can do for others.”
To avoid donating money to organizations that are frauds, we have to know if the organization is trustworthy. “We should be careful that the organizations are not scams,” said Saxena. “We should have a good relationship with the organization, then donate the money.”
It is our responsibility as people living in the same world to reach out to others and help people who are suffering, whether it’s by donations, drives, fundraisers or campaigns.