When crisis hits the East and unfortunately it does too often, the International expat community mobilizes into a force of nature. Relaying information to one another on trustworthy charities, collection points, and most importantly what not to send, useless donations help no one! This community is seasoned at giving, and it is at these moments I am most proud to count myself among them.
Most impressively, it is often the students in Hong Kong who lead the charge. Rachel and Calvin are two of those students whose effort to earn disaster relief funds deserves recognition and support. They are year 13 students at Island School who went trekking in the Annapuma region last fall for their Quest Week, interim experience. They both took tons of photos and upon return made a 130 page book. This book is the story of the group’s trek through Nepal and includes pictures, journal entries and poetry by many of the students. Rachel and Calvin designed the book themselves. Originally creating the book as a memento for the trekkers and Sherpas.
When the earthquake hit Saturday, Rachel sprang into action. She contacted Samantha Fong, Island School’s communication officer and enlisted her help in getting the book published and sponsored by a private donor. Together, they are now selling the book for $200 HK Dollars. All of the proceeds go directly to GlobalGiving’s Nepal fund.
I saw these pictures and the story and immediately wanted to post about it, my only initial fear was checking out the charity. I asked Rachel why GlobalGiving, her response:
“GlobalGiving’s Nepal Fund revolves around immediate assistance — clean water, shelter, etc. — and we feel that these elements are of vital importance at the moment. “
GlobalGiving is a top rated charity (ratings by Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator) created by former World Bank employees, which uses only 2% of funds donated towards administrative expenses. They work directly with vetted local charities and work on both disaster relief and long term recovery efforts. Rachel clearly did her research!
This earthquake has destroyed so much and killed so many. This book is a way to not only give to Nepal, but help these students’ efforts be recognized. I have never met Rachel but, after learning of her efforts, I emailed a series of questions. Her sense of charity showed through best in her last answer. I asked what grade she and Calvin were in. “Calvin and I are both in Year 13 — about to do our IB exams next week!” In the midst of exam preparation creating a relief effort, impressive! Good luck on your exams, Rachel and Calvin. I look forward to seeing your photos in galleries, or newspapers or just hearing how you are making a difference in our world in the future.
Please contact Samantha Fong, firstname.lastname@example.org, to buy this book; they need 100 orders to publish. I bought two! The book is $200 HK Dollars and again all the money goes to http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/nepal-earthquake-relief-fund/