Dear dZi and Mountainfilm Friends,
At dZi Foundation, all our staff and board of directors' attention continues to be focused on the unfolding news in Nepal. The inevitability of an earthquake of this magnitude, and the resulting destruction, is something we have talked about for a long time; sadly, we have felt confident that it was not a matter of "if" but "when." We have gone to great lengths over the years to prepare our Nepal-based staff for such an event, including packing comprehensive emergency kits with basic medical supplies, water, etc., for each. Regardless, there is no real way to emotionally prepare for such an event and our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to our staff and to everyone who has been affected by this event in any way.
We have 18 Nepali staff between our headquarters in Kathmandu and our remote project areas, and it has taken a while to receive news from or about each of them. Thankfully, they are now all accounted for and none is injured. Those in Kathmandu are camped outside with family and/or co-workers, and fortunately they have reasonable access to water and food, at least for the time being.
News from our remote project areas is only starting to come in, but preliminary reports are not good. In short, many of the villages in these areas were hit even harder than Kathmandu. The damage to homes, schools, drinking water systems, bridges, sanitary toilets and other basic infrastructure is significant. Essentially all buildings have been damaged to some extent, if not destroyed. While it remains unclear how many people in these communities have been injured or killed, it is becoming increasingly clear that the amount of work that will need to be done to repair and rebuild infrastructure is considerable.
dZi is in a unique position to effectively help here. We have field staff living in our partner communities and they are assessing the damage directly. Aside from dZi Foundation, few if any other aid organizations operate in these remote areas. Without our — and your — help, these areas would likely be completely overlooked in regards to financial aid and aid materials.
As a result, and in keeping with our organizational mission and strengths, we will focus and redouble our efforts in our working areas where we have staff on the ground. While there is great need in Kathmandu and many outlying areas, we feel we can make the most effective, transparent and accountable impact with our work in this way, starting immediately.
With this in mind, we are reaching out to all of our extended networks to ask for donations to support our work, which is needed now more than ever. Please consider donating to this cause, as well as reaching out to people in your network to do the same. You can make a secured online donation through our website.
We will keep you posted with new information as it comes in through future newsletters and on Facebook.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Jim Nowak, President and Co-Founder
Mark Rikkers, Executive Director
Caroline Fisher, Chair, Board of Directors