A Nepalese scholar at Brown University is using his international development expertise and personal knowledge of the country to help guide relief efforts after a major earthquake.
Atul Pokharel is a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute. He studies development and infrastructure in Nepal, which is where he’s from. And when the earthquake shook his country, he decided to put his knowledge to work. He launched a web site that would answer three key questions for people looking for ways to help.
“One was, ‘how can we help you think about how to contribute?’" said Pokharel. "Another was ‘how can we help you learn about who else is doing stuff there?’ And the third one was ‘how can you get stuff if you’re already in Nepal trying to do relief work?’”
The site lists 57 different charities Pokharel and his collaborators have vetted. It also includes relief efforts currently underway in Nepal, plus resources for people who need supplies or donations.
The Better Business Bureau is cautioning New Englanders to be wary about giving to charities that make unsubstantiated claims. The Bureau offers these tips for determining how to choose a charity for disaster relief donations.