Northwestern, Evanston community join to support Nepal earthquake victims


Tyler Pager/Daily Senior Staffer

A member of Alpha Iota Omicron sells samosa and mango lassi Thursday outside Technological Institute. AIO partnered with NU Stands with Nepal, a group coordinating with the Northwestern and Evanston communities, to raise funds for the victims of the Nepal earthquake.

Mariana Alfaro, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern students, community members and Evanston residents are helping new organization NU Stands with Nepal fundraise for and send support to victims of the April 25 earthquake in Nepal that has killed more than 7,000 people and injured around 15,000.

NU Stands with Nepal was started on NU’s campus by Anupa Gewali and Rosalind Dillon, staff members of GlobeMed National, an organization that focuses on improving the health of poverty-stricken people across the world, with student chapters at 56 universities across the nation, including NU.

Gewali, who started NU Stands with Nepal’s Facebook page “less than 24 hours after the earthquake,” said she wanted NU students and Evanston community members to know they could help and donate to the victims of the earthquake.

She said GlobeMed has two partner communities in Nepal, and two villages within these communities were completely destroyed by the earthquake. Gewali, who is Nepali, said having personal connections to the tragedy compelled her to act.

“It’s important to think about the connections that we have, the responsibilities that we have and the resources that we have,” she said, “and putting that forward to direct resources to Nepali organizations that are … going to be committed to doing the rebuilding work that will be happening in the next decade or so.”

NU Stands with Nepal is partnering with different NU and Evanston groups to fundraise and send aid to the country. On Thursday, the organization partnered with South Asian interest fraternity Alpha Iota Omicron for a samosa and mango lassi fundraiser outside the Technological Institute. The event provided paper and pens for students to write letters to children in Nepali orphanages.

Weinberg sophomore Shaan Somani, AIO’s vice president of philanthropy, said though the fraternity has no direct ties to Nepal, all of its chapters nationwide decided to mobilize and fundraise for the victims. He said the event will probably be the only one the fraternity will be able to do this year to fundraise for Nepal because the school year is almost over.

NU Stands with Nepal is also partnering with TEDx NorthwesternU this weekend, with 60 percent of the event’s ticket proceeds to be donated. Proceeds from both the AIO sale and the TEDx event will go to Himalayan HealthCare, a nonprofit organization that has functioned in Nepal for more than 20 years and is currently providing emergency care, food, shelter and water to earthquake victims.

“NU Stands with Nepal in general is advocating for Himalayan HealthCare,” Somani said. “(Because) international relief efforts … tend to leave after a few days whereas local efforts will remain in the country for several years.”

Elizabeth Larsen, a Weinberg senior who visited Nepal when she was researching solutions for childhood malnutrition, helped connect NU Stands with Nepal to TEDx NU. She said the heads of TEDx NU, SESP senior Nikita Ramanujam and Weinberg sophomore Emilie Greenberg, thought it would be a good idea to donate part of the ticket sales to the efforts.

NU Stands with Nepal is also working to connect with Evanston area elementary and middle schools to fundraise with them, Larsen said. The group will also host a fundraiser at Mt. Everest Restaurant, 630 Church St., that will include some sales and auctions.

“It’s really geared towards comprehensive, everyone on board effort,” Larsen said. “NU Stands with Nepal is trying to coordinate efforts among various organizations.”

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