Tag Archives: nepal

Nepal Relief Dinner and Discussion at Gurkha with Raju and DaveO

NOTE: Recorded the evening before the 7.3 earthquake on 5/11/15.
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20002ejl#general_summary

Nepali restauranteur Raju Bhanttari and enthusiast DaveO talk about the challenges and successes of the relief efforts in Nepal and offer ideas to help at a grassroots level.

Topics include:

* Nepal Relief Dinners at Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen on Davie. St.
* Sandeep Giri’s and Gham Power’s “Rebuild with Solar” campaign
* Importance of maintaining awareness and outreach
* Reaching villages where aid is most needed
* Staying positive and optimistic and compassionate
* Also, Yak Tea and mo-mos.

Tiny Steps, Daily. Note links in annotations.

https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/nepal-rebuild-with-sun–2
http://nepalquake.ghampower.com/request-map
http://gurkha.ca/
http://www.yakyeti.ca/

Nepal Thoughts and Blessing from a Porch

From a porch, I share a few rambling thoughts about the situation in Nepal, annotations about disasters and social media, and a few ways to help including: attending a Nepal relief dinner at Gurkha Restaurant on Davie Street; and, helping with a unique solar panel project with donations and or geek help.

Postcards for Nepal – Help Nepal and i’ll send you a postcard

+++ Postcards for Nepal +++

Help ‪#‎Nepal‬ (again) Today + Tell the World = I’ll send you an art postcard.

One. Do something to help Nepal relief between today and May 25

Two. Tell about your actions in comments

Three. I’ll send you a handmade postcard to say “right on”

Keep spreading awareness and help how you can through skills, money, or sending happiness. But don’t forget Nepal. Ideas to help are welcome.

Also: 

++ It’s bad business not to donate to Nepal – via @wapost http://owl.li/Nping

Nepalese earthquake survivors line up during a food distribution in Kathmandu, Nepal,

The loss of life from the recent earthquakes in Nepal is approaching the scale of the earthquake that devastated Japan in 2011, where more than 20,000 perished. Major companies can and should be at the forefront of disaster relief there, but so far they have been slow to respond.

In relative terms, Nepal has been hit very hard. Japan lost one inhabitant for every 10,000 residents; Nepal, has lost one for every 3,000. The cost to Japan came to about 6 percent of its GDP; the cost to Nepal may be close to 50 percent of its GDP.

Yet Nepal has received far less business aid. In the aftermath of the Japanese disaster, firms around the world rushed in with cash and goods, providing more than half of the total international aid for Japan’s relief. But the corporate flow into Nepal has been barely a trickle. During the first several days after the earthquake, business aid arrived at a rate of $5,000 an hour. Compare that to Japan’s earthquake, when it was $150,000 per hour.

The disparity reflects an uncomfortable truth: Corporate contributions tend to go to countries that are already the most, rather than the least, prepared to dig themselves out. When the World Economic Forum rated countries by their readiness to come back from great shocks, Japan ranked near the top, Nepal near the bottom.

It makes sense that corporations act to cushion their own economic shocks from natural disasters by directing relief to countries where they have the greatest stake. Tracking international relief by the 2,000 largest multinational enterprises, we find that their donations closely followed their country operations.

The far greater business assistance to Chile than Haiti, after both countries experienced massive earthquakes at about the same time, had much to do with the fact that 37 percent of these firms operated in Chile but only 8 percent in Haiti. Companies like Wal-Mart, American Airlines, and the mining company Anglo American already had a strong presence in Chile and donated millions of dollars to its relief.
Now we see this same disparity in Nepal. Just 15 companies – fewer than 1 percent of the world’s 2,000 largest multinational firms – operated in Nepal when the first earthquake hit. So it is unfortunately no surprise that little business assistance has been flowing into Nepal, even though the country’s needs have never been greater. By one estimate, of the $550 million in outside aid to Nepal to date, corporations have contributed just $28 million.

The limited business assistance to Nepal reflects the limited company footprint there at the moment, but that absence will likely constitute a big strategic mistake for the future.

Though still one of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal and its 28 million residents will one day become an attractive market for many multinational enterprises. Today’s distressed residents of Nepal will long recollect the corporate brands that stepped forward in their moment of peril. Though business giving may seem un-strategic at the moment, that’s not only an uncompassionate way to think, it’s tactically shortsighted.

The U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck gave out Streptomycin for free to post-war Japan when it was ravaged by tuberculosis. Today, Merck has become one of the leading U.S. drug companies doing business in Japan.

During the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, American companies like medical and dental supplier Henry Schein and aluminum maker Alcoa came forward with materials and staffing. The immediate return on their investments will likely be nil, but that commitment will be long recalled in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Business giving when it seems least strategic in the moment will be the most strategic for the long term. With Nepal already devastated by the first earthquake and new aftershocks adding to the disaster, now is both an important time and a smart time for companies to step up the flow.

“Citizen journalists preparing to get the unofficial Olympic scoop” CP Article re: TNMH and Olympics

Note:

This version of the CP article “Citizen journalists preparing to get the unofficial Olympic scoop” by Tamsyn Burgman was harvested and posted for archival purposes via a cached version of Guelph Mercury Press– all other CP syndicated version including Metronews, CTV, Yahoo etc. have “expired” the article so it longer appears online. It seems the articles were all removed a day later and all trace obliterated. The “permalinks” are broken and i only have an excerpt of the article at this point via Winnipeg Free Press.

Ms. Burgmann’s article shares one of my fave Olympic-related stories about the first ever Nepali winter Olympian and gives an overview of what we (at the time) planning for grassroots coverage through the True North Media House project. Also includes comments from Michael Tippet of Now Public.

Artifacts from the anecdotes :

“Citizen journalists preparing to get the unofficial Olympic scoop”

TAMSYN BURGMANN, THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER, B.C. – When Nepal’s first winter Olympian donned skis to rocket across the Salt Lake City cross-country course in 2002, there were no big-shot broadcasters to memorialize the event.

The proud moment for his nation – despite lack of victory hardware – might never have seen the light of day aside from on-site spectators.

Yet owing to an early digital camera and an enterprising spirit, a 10-second video clip of the feat was viewed by tens of thousands some 12,000 kilometres away in Jay Khadka’s home town.

“This was the only vid they got to see of their athlete in the Olympics because of course, it wasn’t on any kind of TV coverage,” said Vancouverite Dave Olson, who personally captured the footage and posted it online.

Airing preliminary rounds of competition is like watching paint dry for the mainstream media, he said.

“I really started to see that there was an importance there to tell these people these stories they weren’t getting through the traditional outlets.”

Olson plans to be in the thick of the rising contingent of so-called citizen journalists at the Vancouver Games who will dig up and share on-the-ground stories that might otherwise go untold, even as 10,000 accredited journalists from around the world roll into the city to work from the main media centre.

Armed with digital gear, social networking tools and the seemingly limitless bounds of the Internet, the scribbling underdogs will bark from mountain tops even without the same privileges as professional media.

“It has the potential to be huge. A lot will depend on the events that will unfold and who is there to cover it,” said Michael Tippett, a founder of Vancouver-based NowPublic, a pioneering citizen journalism site.

“Numbers favour the amateurs’ side of the house, because if something happens, chances will be someone with a camera phone will be there – even in the context of the Olympics, which will be a media circus.”

The caveat to what will likely be the largest social media experiment the Olympics has ever seen is that the International Olympic Committee doesn’t grant unaccredited media access to official events and venues.

Holding tickets to sporting events doesn’t help because under the conditions imposed by Olympic organizers the public – and therefore citizen reporters – are prohibited from publishing photos, audio or video online on blogs, or elsewhere. Posting snapshots to Facebook and Flickr is OK as long as it’s not used commercially, but posting video to YouTube is a no-no.

The fact is that it will be difficult for Olympic organizers to act with the speed of the Internet to stop citizen journalists, but at the Beijing Games an unaccredited photographer found himself facing legal action from the IOC after the Games were over.

Acknowledging they can’t compete with HDTV anyhow, Olson and others are saddling up to instead get scoops from festivals, parties and any event outside an official venue.

“If you’re not winning a gold medal, involved in a scandal or particularly attractive, the mainstream media doesn’t cover those stories,” said Olson, who with Vancouver-based collaborators in Turin and Beijing also helped alternatively document the Games. “On-the-ground is very different from what you see on TV.”

To make it happen, several social media advocacy groups are offering mentoring, work space and resources for bloggers and online correspondents.

True North Media House, which Olson helped found, will be churning out content and setting best practices for grassroots reporting during Olympic Games. Funded only by cash from their own pockets, they’ve created an online social reporter toolbox, will host walking tours during the big events and aim to connect roving reporters from across the globe.

And NowPublic expects hundreds of contributors. Its staff of six will also use technology they developed to scan social media being posted elsewhere to find trends in what visitors are talking – or tweeting – about.

Space is also available to citizen journalists at city locales including Building Opportunities with Business and The Network Hub, and it’s likely more unofficial gathering spots will take root in WiFi cafes.

The province has also set up an unaccredited media centre, which features space for about 30 bloggers, but will still mostly cater to hundreds of mainstream reporters.

If citizen storytellers do in fact show in force – and then push the limits of the strict control of Olympic organizers-advocates predict they have the potential to turn the page on how Games are covered.

“(Olympic organizers) may become overwhelmed,” said Tippett. “If tens of thousands of people doing it becomes untenable, it could forever change (organizers’) relationship around the property they presume to own.”