Update – Tuesday, May 5, 4:18pm: In the video above, VICE News reporters visit the city of Bhaktapur, where the Nepal Buddhist Federation is providing relief and assistance. This is the fifth in a VICE News series of dispatches from Nepal. The video raises questions about why many communities have yet to receive funds and resources from the government or international organizations. Buddhist monk Ngawang Tenzin says one of the reasons is that the government is collecting all donations in their own relief fund. As humanitarian organization Karuna Shechen posted on Facebook yesterday, the existence of this catch-all government fund has yet to be confirmed; however, there are still ways to get funds to those who need it. Karuna-Shechen suggests that “would not include organizations already authorized to work in Nepal.” For more, see our post, “How you can help.”
On each of the past few days, the humanitarian organization Karuna-Shechen, founded by Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, has issued updates that indicate just some of the potent ways Buddhists are stepping up to provide relief in Nepal after last Saturday’s massive earthquake there. As an April 28 statement reads, “The Shechen medical Clinic and the nearby Shechen Monastery have not suffered any major damage. This means that we have been able to assist the injured and shelter the homeless.”
On the next day, another Karuna-Shechen update announced, “All injured in the area around the Shechen clinic have been attended to. We are now trying to reach remote villages.” Meanwhile, Shechen Monastery compound was adapted to become “a shelter and medical first aid center for anyone needing such assistance. Food and water are being provided by the Monastery to the thousands of people that have been sheltered there.” A New Huffington Post piece shares more on this, including the fact that the Monastery is now housing some 2,000 people displaced by the quake.
After last Saturday’s massive earthquake in Nepal, many Buddhists (and non-Buddhists) with ties to the area mobilized quickly, first taking to social media to announce whether they and their teachers were safe, and how much damage their monasteries and areas had sustained. Next came the creation of charitable relief funds, which was undertaken by Buddhist communities and organizations including Karuna-Shechen, the Marpa Foundation, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, Upaya Zen Center, and many others; other organizations made sizable financial contributions, as did Buddhist Global Relief, which issued an “emergency donation” of $10,000.
How you can help Nepal after the earthquake (Updated)
Pema Chödrön: join me in practicing tonglen for Nepal
Nepal: Buddhist monasteries’, teachers’ social-media updates
Catastrophic earthquake strikes Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley (Updated)
For more on Matthieu Ricard and his organization, watch for Andrea Miller’s profile of the monk and humanitarian in the July 2015 issue of the Shambhala Sun.