On Nov. 12, 2017, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck the Iran-Iraq border; it killed over 6,000 and left more than 8,000 people injured. About 70,000 people were left homeless across 14 Iranian provinces as the earthquake destroyed approximately 12,000 homes and damaged another 15,000. Furthermore, 70 schools with more than 400 classrooms were demolished; smaller schools in 60 villages were also heavily damaged.
In a year stunned by massive hurricanes, 2017 certainly was ill-prepared to accept one more tragedy into its pages… And yet, amid all the devastation, unprecedented generosity made itself known.
Our partners at Google were incredibly motivated to support earthquake survivors in the affected geography. Google employees with ties to the region, their colleagues and individuals utilizing Google to learn about the disaster responded generously to the many profound needs left behind by the earthquake.
With funds raised through Google, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy recently awarded two grants.
Relief International received funds to improve the quality and effectiveness of schooling for the most vulnerable children, ages seven to twelve, who lost everything in the earthquake. This includes the construction of two playgrounds with a celebratory event commemorating its opening; distribution of education kits to students; and the provision of books and bookshelves to improve the classroom and educational environment.
Child Foundation, our second grantee, has a mission of providing access to education for children in need. With their grant, Child Foundation purchased five mobile home type structures (Conex units) to be delivered and installed where schools have been destroyed or damaged.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy team knows recovery from disasters like the Iran-Iraq earthquake can take decades – and that the after-effects of such a disaster permeate all aspects of community life. These two grants take into careful consideration the need to support children, in both their educational and psychosocial well-being. We are incredibly thankful for our partnership with Google that facilitated this support of children.