East-West Center
fund drive nets $340K
for tsunami relief effort

Hawaii residents are helping people recover from the southern Asian tsunami by buying new nets for Indian fishermen, water purification equipment for Sri Lanka and medical supplies for Thailand and Indonesia.


The Sierra Club's relief fund drive netted $7,500 from the bottles and cans collected from Oahu residents.

People dropped off nearly 150,000 bottles and cans, each worth 5 cents under the new bottle deposit law. The collection was made Jan. 15-16 at three Honolulu locations.

The money was given to UNICEF for health, sanitation and nutrition supplies. It is enough to provide immunization shots for 7,500 children or water purification kits for 860 families, according to a release.

Volunteers from several organizations worked at the drop-off points at Kapiolani Community College, Ward Centre and Manoa Marketplace. Reynolds Recycling was one of several sponsors.

Star-Bulletin staff

Nearly $340,000 was contributed to the East-West Center Tsunami Relief Fund, and officials have begun to disburse the funds to several agencies and villages.

Terry Bigalke, director of the center's education program, is meeting in Sri Lanka this week with relief agency officials, according to a release. Muhamad Ali, a graduate student from Jakarta, Indonesia, accompanied him to meetings in Indonesia.

East-West Center President Charles Morrison said: "The priority now is shifting from short-term emergency relief toward longer-term rebuilding. They will continue to need a lot of financial help, training and encouragement, and we want to continue to be proactive in helping them."

Some $25,000 of the amount is earmarked as a matching fund for money raised by center alumni chapters in the affected areas. So far, alumni in Sri Lanka and Malaysia have contributed $6,500, of which $5,000 went to Mercy Malaysia for humanitarian service and $1,500 to Samaritan Home Relief, to help rebuild an orphanage on Sri Lanka's eastern peninsula.

Other funds are being disbursed to the following:

» Operation U.S.A. -- $25,000 for medical and shelter supplies in Indonesia and $25,000 for medical supplies and water purification equipment in Sri Lanka.
» WALHI -- $30,000 for medical and sanitation supplies, food and water being distributed by 200 volunteers in Aceh, Indonesia.
» Sarvodaya -- $30,000 for care of orphaned children up to 11 years of age and girls and women up to age 19.
» Uplift International -- $30,000 for medical supplies to victims in North Sumatra, Indonesia.
» Vivekanand Medical Research Society -- $10,000 to aid the poorest tsunami victims in India. See www.vivekanand.org.
» Rajaprajanugroh Foundation -- $10,000 for work with Thai orphans.
» Chennai, India -- $5,000 to buy fishing nets for island villages.

Monetary donations may still be made to the relief fund at any First Hawaiian Bank branch.

They may be dropped off at or mailed to the East-West Center, 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu 96848-1601; or at www.eastwestcenter.org

East-West Center Tsunami Relief page
American Red Cross Hawaii
Red Cross survivor locator
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

U.S. Pacific Command

E-mail to City Desk


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