Students, faculty and staff across the University of Nebraska are rallying to support relief efforts in Nepal following a devastating earthquake near the capital of Kathmandu that has killed nearly 6,000 people and left many more without shelter, food, water or medical assistance.
All four campuses are collecting donations to support the people of Nepal, as well as NU students from the area whose families suffered losses as a result of the quake. Additionally, a disaster relief fund has been established at the University of Nebraska Foundation to send medical supplies to Nepal and support health care professionals from the University of Nebraska Medical Center who will travel to the region to provide care to those in need.
University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds, who will speak at a candlelight vigil which begins at 7:30 tonight at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, thanked those who have organized relief efforts, and encouraged members of the NU community and Nebraskans to contribute their time, resources or thoughts. About 85 NU students are from Nepal; the families of at least some of the students have lost everything they owned.
“Our thoughts right now are with all those who have been affected by the disaster in Nepal, including members of the University of Nebraska family who are worried about family and friends in the area,” Bounds said. “Nebraskans are generous people. I hope they will consider giving what they can to help – and reflect on how fortunate we are to have the water, food and shelter that we too often take for granted.”
Ongoing efforts and opportunities to donate on the four campuses include:
University of Nebraska Medical Center
University of Nebraska at Omaha
- Chancellor Jeffrey Gold and College of Public Health Dean Ali Khan provided a donation to kick-start the relief fund at the NU Foundation.
- Free counseling is available to students, faculty and residents who need it.
- Poonam Joshi, M.B.B.S., deployed on Wednesday to assist in relief efforts.
- More information on UNMC’s response is available here
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- UNO is coordinating a supply drive to provide tangible items to ship to doctors in Nepal. Anyone may contribute bandages, dressing pads, diapers, thermometers, pain medication, plastic garbage bags, toothpaste, toothbrushes, disinfectant wipes, baby wipes or baby milk powder at the Weitz Community Engagement Center and the Peter Kiewit Institute until 5 p.m. on Friday.
- UNO also is encouraging monetary donations to the International Medical Corps via Facebook, and to Charity: Water, where 100 percent of proceeds will go to disaster relief efforts.
- The UNO Counseling Center is available for those who need emotional support.
- UNO is nominating three Nepali students for an Institute for International Education student fund to support students with urgent financial needs because of the earthquake. IIE is providing emergency grants of up to $2,000 for students nominated by their host institutions.
- More information on UNO’s response is available here
University of Nebraska at Kearney
- A candlelight vigil will be held near the Broyhill Fountain tonight at 7:30. President Bounds will be joined by Juan Franco, vice chancellor for student affairs, student body president Thien Chau, and Prabhakar Shrestha, UNL’s sustainability coordinator who is from Nepal, in making remarks.
- Shrestha has established a Help Nepal Fund at Union Bank to support relief efforts. Any Nebraskan may donate at any Union Bank branch.
- The UNL Nepalese Student Association will work donation booths at the Nebraska Union and Nebraska East Union from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every day this week The students are raising money for the Nepalese Earthquake Relief Fund set up by the American Red Cross as well as for students whose families have been affected by the disaster.
- More information on UNL’s response is available here
- The UNK Nepalese Student Association is hosting a candlelight vigil Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Cope Fountain. Prayers of all faiths will be offered beginning at 8 p.m.
- The Nepalese Student Association has set up an earthquake relief fund and is taking donations all week in the Nebraskan Student Union.
- Donations also are being directed to the non-profit Himanchal Education Foundation, which was started by a former UNK master’s student, Mahabir Pun.
- More information on UNK’s response is available here