Thanks to Google & CNN, I found a couple of great organizations for
Sri Lanka and India (still searching for the other nations) that have
done tremendous grassroots work over decades and is doing a great job
on the front lines as well.
Here are their sites:
I too, wanted to find the right organization for the right job and
then donate the little I could. Amid all the calls for donation for
Earthquake/Tsunami Aid and the numerous organizations, which
organizations are actually the most suited to tackle the specific
challenges of the situation AND the region?
Thus, after a fair amount of research for organizations that:
* have an established track-record of doing commendable ground-work
on an ongoing basis (not just advocacy or occasional projects)
* with a history of working in the South Asian region and it's peoples
* with the philosophy of rebuilding/revitalizing people and communities
based on sound principles
* working in a partnership mode conscious of not creating a charity
dependency or inferiority complex
* and finally, with no hidden agendas (including no political, business
or religious/proselytizing goals) though it is OK if there is a
stated foundation on sound spiritual principles that expressly
include religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence - without direct
or indirect attacks or barbs on other religions.
It's easy to go to any site and make a donation with a few clicks. But
with so many organizations in the picture, it is tempting to go with
the "big global/western brands" and trust all is well. Sometimes that
is the case undoubtedly - but in a situation like this we are talking
more than short-term disaster relief where large-scale, high-tech
logistics capability, efficiency and reach are important. But here we
are talking about appropriate long-term localized solutions to help
rebuild the lives, living conditions and livelihoods of the people in
the affected areas which is a very complex task.
PLEASE WRITE IN IF YOU FIND (after some actual research) SIMILAR
GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS IN THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES THAT MATCH THE
CRITERIA ABOVE SO WE CAN SUPPORT THEM AS WELL.
Finally, give because you believe in genuine giving - not with the
expectation of ANY return - except "What goes around, comes around" -
some where, some time, to some one. As almost all of the world's
major spiritual traditions have emphasized over the ages. Some of the
discussions here and elsewhere, about the "returns" of their donations
are rather revealing of our basic intentions and perhaps suggest a
need for some reflection. (I am not talking about the actual impact
on recipients or "bang-for-the-buck" which is OK.)
Regards and best wishes to all across the globe for a positive,
hopeful, reinvigorating 2005.