Three board members representing Nepalese Canadian Community Services (NCCS), a Toronto-based not-for-profit organization, visited the offices of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) on June 4 to deliver a cheque for $13,075.25 bound for earthquake relief in Nepal.
In accordance with a memorandum of understanding signed by NCCS and PWRDF, the full sum will be transferred via PWRDF to the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), which is currently active in relief efforts on the ground in Nepal. The money will then be used to procure shelter and shelter-related materials, as stipulated by NCCS.
The memorandum of understanding was the first such agreement between PWRDF and a Toronto-based community group, said Adele Finney, PWRDF’s executive director. NCCS, which provides services to new and already settled Nepalese immigrants, works to “facilitate the integration of Nepalese in Toronto, in Canadian society and to foster the retention and development of their cultural heritage within the framework of multiculturalism,” according to its website.
Man Poudel, NCCS treasurer, spoke of the difficulty his organization faced in ensuring that the entirety of the funds would go toward relief efforts. NCCS was the first Nepalese group in the GTA to set up PayPal donation accounts, the first to organize candlelight vigils and the first to spread news of the disaster and the urgent need for aid throughout the community, he said. “But we were looking for the proper channels-how can we utilize these funds? How can we make sure that the funds are getting to the people in the country?”
The solution came in the form of PWRDF. Naba Gurung, PWRDF’s humanitarian relief co-ordinator, helped found NCCS in the early 2000s, and had maintained ties with the community group over the years. Gurung, aware of NCCS’s dilemma, was the first to propose funnelling the proceeds from the group’s fundraising efforts through PWRDF to LWF in Nepal. PWRDF would be able to ensure that 100 per cent of the funds would go toward helping the people of Nepal, he said at the meeting. “Our policy is-not just for NCCS but for all the designated donations that we receive for relief-100 per cent of it will go to that particular disaster response.”
Poudel’s prior experience with LWF-he worked with the group in Nepal in 1993-also helped to assure NCCS that the funds would be in good hands.
NCCS general secretary Madhab Bastakoti, speaking with regard to the funds collected and the partnership with PWRDF, said, “We hope this amount will have a big impact for the people affected by the earthquake in Nepal. We are happy to collaborate with PWRDF…and we are happy to be here to hand over the collected money to PWRDF.”