Monday, May 4, 2015

Update on the 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Nepal

The initial report of 3,700 confirmed dead has now increased to more than 5,000. Many survivors in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, as well as those within remote regions, are without food and water -- their shelter having been leveled by the 'quake. Aftershocks are expected, which will bring more damage.

May 5th Update: The death toll is now over 7200. To read more about the earthquake, here's a CNN link:

If you would like to help, please read more from the Tibet Fund's website.

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal, taking a huge toll on human life and property. With over 3,700 confirmed dead, and the number continuing to rise, rescue efforts are still under way. According to The Guardian, more than half the houses in the city of Bhaktapur, just outside the city of Kathmandu, have been destroyed. Hundreds of homes in Patan, Kathmandu and neighboring towns have also been lost. Thousands more in the Buddhist regions of Northern Nepal are now leveled, leaving tens of thousands homeless. The official death toll in these areas is unknown due to inadequate data, and sporadic reports from these rural areas are our only glimpses of this earthquake’s true devastation.

This disaster has devastated the Tibetan community in Nepal, especially in remote areas close to the quake’s epicenter.  Currently, there are more than 20,000 Tibetan refugees and hundreds of thousands of Tibetan Buddhist practitioners living along the Himalayan Buddhist Belt in Nepal. Reports state that the Tibetan Refugee Settlement at Syabru Bensi has been heavily damaged, with the majority of homes in the settlement having collapsed. Monasteries and centers of Buddhist learning in the remote areas of Bhagang and Liphing in Tatopani have also been leveled by the quake. The rebuilding process will be a monumental task requiring financial support for years to come.

The Tibet Fund has established an Emergency Earthquake Relief Fund and is working with credible and reliable partners in Nepal, such as the Snow Lion Foundation and The Himalayan Society for Youth and Women Empowerment (HSYWE) to ensure that resources reach those most affected by the quake. These organizations are bringing urgently needed supplies and assistance to survivors and coordinating long-term efforts to rebuild communities. Even a small contribution will make a huge difference in the lives of those who have been tragically affected by the natural disaster.

The Tibet Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; as such all donations are tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.  You can contribute online below to donate or send a check made out to The Tibet Fund with a note "Emergency Earthquake Relief Fund" on the memo line and send it to The Tibet Fund, 241 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016.

A Message from The 14th Dalai Lama About The Tibet Fund

The Tibetan people are grateful for the place they hold in the hearts and minds of so many people around the world. Were it not for our community in exile, so generously supported by individuals, organizations and governments, our nation would be little more than a shattered remnant of a people…our culture, religion and national identity effectively eliminated.

Over the past 30 years, The Tibet Fund has worked closely with our Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala to meet the needs of the Tibetan community. The Tibet Fund has raised millions of dollars to help our people to build schools and provide housing and infrastructure, health care and education to the Tibetan community, in exile and in Tibet. The Tibet Fund has also provided resources to strengthen cultural institutions and projects that are essential for the preservation of our cultural heritage, the very seed of our civilization.

While Tibet needs the compassion of the world community to survive, we cannot hope through mere words to convince the world of Tibet's value. We must set an example by our own practice. We are hard at work creating a modern society and democratic institutions based on the values of compassion, nonviolence and justice. Our communities are striving for self-sufficiency and self-determination.

I would like to express my gratitude to all the friends who have generously contributed to The Tibet Fund over the years, with the hope that you will continue to support us until our difficulties have been finally and justly resolved.