First, this message is going out to everyone who has donated to Wide Open Vistas (WOV) past or present. Thank you once again for your help towards WOV efforts to help victims of the Nepal earthquake. Nepal is still suffering significant aftershocks, and disruptions in communications, water, and healthcare.
If you gave prior to the earthquake – wonderful. We have a very solid education strategy being reviewed by the board (a draft is on the website) along with a proposed budget that should see our 9 kids plus 11 more supported through 2016 along with a reasonable fundraising goal every year ($5,580) to sustain this. We are still fine-tuning this and have plans to launch our expanded services at the end of May when tuition bills are due again. It is because of you that we are able to do this.
We put out a special call for donations because of the earthquake. To date we have raised over $8,000 dollars. Thank you. For those who donated, I think you gave money to a great organization. Yes, we are small – but that means that aside from bank fees, all funds go towards children and their families. Yes, disaster relief is outside our normal focus. But we have a passion to do the right thing. Our board is made up of professionals in the field of public health who understand health and the importance of education towards ensuring children grow up healthy.
Dorjee Sherpa and Sudeep Kandel are the representatives of WOV in Kathmandu. They are our eyes, ears and legs on the ground! Dorjee Sherpa and I started WOV together after I climbed Everest in 2011. Sudeep is a college student in Kathmandu with a big heart. Last year he ran across Nepal to raise money for schools in Nepal. Both and their respective families are safe.
We are still waiting for confirmation that the nine children WOV is supporting are safe. In addition, we still need to decide how to best utilize the funds raised thus far. This is where Dorjee and Sudeep’s expertise will be invaluable. Our priorities are impact, transparency, sustainability, and a connection to the education sector. We are cognizant that there are many excellent organizations providing immediate disaster relief. This may mean looking at ways in which WOV can help longer-term efforts, rebuilding schools, supplies, micro-loans, and tuition will be vital when these immediate rescues are over.
For now, transferring funds to Nepal is posing some problems. Reports suggest that some ATMs are working but branches are closed. We are working on wiring funds over nonetheless with the hope that by the time the funds arrive the branches will be open. In all likelihood it will take time for the dust to settle and to determine where we can have the most meaningful impact in Nepal. Thank you for your patience and keeping Nepal in your thoughts. We will do our best to provide updates on our facebook page and also on our website.
I want you to know what is happening (and not) with your donation because transparency is a core value of Wide Open Vistas. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Thank you for your help, every bit helps.
Seth Wolpin PhD MPH RN
Co-founder and President
Wide Open Vistas is a registered non-profit in Washington State (UBI 603166667).
We are also a 501(c)(3). All donations are tax deductible.