June 5, 2015
By Simon Chambers
When Man Poudel and other leaders of Nepalese Canadian Community Services heard about the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated their homeland on April 25, they immediately began to respond. They were the first Nepalese community group to set up a PayPal account to receive donations, and the first to organize a candle light vigil.
But they wanted to make sure the donations they received would have the most impact. “How can we better utilize the funds?” Poudel and the board members asked each other. Once the Canadian government announced that they would match donations received by eligible Canadian relief agencies responding to the earthquakes in Nepal, they knew they wanted to work with a Canadian charity.
NCCS has a connection to PWRDF through Naba Gurung, the founder of NCCS and PWRDF’s Humanitarian Relief Coordinator. And Poudel himself used to work for the Lutheran World Federation in Nepal—one of the ACT Alliance members PWRDF is funding to do relief work there.
So NCCS worked with PWRDF and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) so they could raise funds, which would be forwarded from their donors to PWRDF to be eligible for the matching funds. PWRDF then worked with the Lutherans to ensure that the donations from NCCS would be used to purchase shelter materials for affected families.
“PWRDF was the best partner for us,” Poudel said. “We wanted the money to go directly to the program, and 100% of the funds we gave to PWRDF will go to purchase the shelter materials.”
Gurung assured them that “PWRDF’s policy is that 100% of all donations designated for an emergency like the [Nepal] earthquake go to our partners for the relief work.”
Board members from NCCS visited the offices of PWRDF today to present a cheque for the $13,075.25 they raised that is eligible for the government matching funds to PWRDF’s Executive Director Adele Finney. “We’re so very grateful you’re here,” she said. “We are glad you were able to connect with PWRDF. This is a first for us, to have an MOU with an agency like NCCS. We are glad you are part of this.”