Australian nonprofit Connecting Up Australia is rallying support behind earthquake-affected communities in Chile trying to re-establish communications. The organisation has responded to a call from Javier Figueroa of CDI Chile to help local non-government organisations (NGOs) to re-connect their communities.
Connecting Up chief executive Doug Jacquier says that communities worldwide contribute enormous efforts when catastrophic events take place.
"Mr Figueroa points out that when people, families, houses, companies, public infrastructure are damaged, we pull together to help those in need," Mr Jacquier said.
Food, emergency housing, clothes and shelters are the most urgent and common ways of support. However, local non-government organisations (NGOs) get very little support after a natural disaster.
"These catastrophes typically also hit the NGOs that have been working with their communities for many years and are an important part of the community's well-being," Mr Jacquier said.
"More often than not, lack of telecommunication systems makes it impossible for them even to seek media coverage and support. But the sooner they can get up and serving the better for the damaged community."
Long after the world has moved on and the aid stops flowing in, NGOs are still there working to overcome the lasting effects of the natural disasters.
Mr Jacquier said that both Connecting Up and its sister organisation CDI Chile are part of the TechSoup Global network, which provides millions of dollars of technology donations to nonprofits.
"We want to do all we can to support CDI Chile in getting communities back on line, so that relief efforts can flow and families can contact their loved ones," Mr Jacquier said.
Connecting Up and its partners in New Zealand, the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (NZFVWO), have started with a donation of $1250 and they are encouraging as many people as possible to contribute via http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/chile-earthquake-relief/
“So much can be done with so little,” Mr Jacquier added. ”For example, $10 will help re-establish the internet in a community, making communication between family members and friends possible; $20 will help to re-establish phone communications, making it possible for victims to contact aid agencies; and $30 will help to buy IT equipment for grassroots NGOs that lost everything.”
Pics from the Chilean earthquake are available at www.newsmaker.com.au/news/2872
and at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/chile-earthquake-relief/photos/
Connecting Up Australia is a nonprofit organisation focused on capacity development for the nonprofit sector. Connecting Up operates the DonorTec (www.donortec.com.au) and TechSoup New Zealand (www.techsoup.net.nz ) technology donation channel to Australian and New Zealand nonprofits, which in the past two years has delivered over $50m in technology savings to Australian charities and nonprofits. Connecting Up also conducts the national conference series on ICT in the nonprofit sector Connecting Up ( www.connectingup.org/conference ) and the annual Australian Community Technology Awards http://www.donortec.com.au/Community-ict-award-09 .
P: 08 8122 2701