There are two things you should know about me from the start.
The first is that I am and always will be a Kansas girl. I love the Sunflower State—the hardworking farmers, the warmth in a passing stranger’s greeting, and perhaps most of all, the widest expanse of space and blue canopy sky that the Midwest can afford.
The second thing you should know is that I believe a better world rests in our hands. Together, we can change the world through our willingness to do right by others, defend justice, and live out the golden rule.
And so I’m here, on an airport runway, headed to Nepal. I am traveling on behalf of the more than 300 donors who came together last year in response to the Nepal earthquakes to establish our largest disaster recovery fund to date. I am visiting our four Earthquake Recovery Fund grantees to see their hard work—and the power of collaborative generosity—in action:
- Through our grant to All Hands Volunteers, earthquake-devastated schools are being rebuilt in the Nuwakot District, where nearly 90 percent of the schools were destroyed. The great thing about this organization is that they address the immediate and long-term needs of communities by engaging and leveraging local volunteers, partner organizations, and resources.
- Our grant to Plan International USA is funding its Fighting Against Child Trafficking in Emergencies Project in Nepal. Our funders were very concerned about the orphans in Nepal and what the child trafficking situation was like. Trafficking is one of those social issues that eats away at the very heart of a community, making this particular project a priority.
- The Project Hope grant is strengthening a maternal and child health system in Makawanpur District by increasing the capacity of health clinics, training in disaster response, disease prevention, and wellness promotion. This program addresses the health needs of children, looks after their wellness with hygiene, nutrition, and immunization outreach, and trains care providers to evaluate indicators for at-risk children.
- The Shakti Samuha grant directly addresses human trafficking in communities by providing income generation skills and educational support to girls in Sindupalchowk, Ramechhap, and Sindhuli districts, along with an extensive advocacy campaign around this issue in communities.
I can still remember how excited I was the day I pushed send on the emails notifying our grantees they’d been awarded funds. And, if possible, today, I’m even more thrilled to have the opportunity to witness and share their efforts with you over the next two weeks.
I hope you join me on this journey to Nepal by following and sharing the posted images, blogs, and videos with your friends and family through the #CDP4Nepal journey. You will find that together, through collaborative and creative grantmaking, we are helping write a new story of recovery and hope in Nepal.