Monday, January 17, 2005

Memphis Area Tsunami Benefit 1/22/05

Crossposted at SEA EAT. From Arjun:

I’ve been coordinating a fundraising drive in Memphis, TN which is throwing a benefit party this upcoming Saturday, January 22nd – details below. The owner of India Palace has graciously let us use his venue at no cost for the event, and the DJ is also working the decks pro bono, so that the maximum amount generated from the benefit can go directly towards aid, not overhead. All proceeds are going to progressive, grass-roots NGOs with a longer-term, egalitarian view of relief and reconstruction in India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia – we’re identifying groups to support currently from a shortlist including:

In Indonesia:

Kontras (the lead group of the Indonesia Civil Society Coalition for Tsunami Victims); Solidaritas Perempuan (a grassroots group organizing relief efforts, focusing on poor women); IMC (International Medical Corps), which is not grass-roots, but is handling a large chunk of direct medical aid in the area and is requesting both monetary and material aid.

In Sri Lanka:

Sarvodaya (a Sri Lankan organization with the largest community network in the country, which is conducting relief efforts in all Sinhalese regions, and directing aid to Tamil groups in the northeast as well); Sewalanka (another Sri Lankan organization which has set up refugee camps and clinics and have infrastructure in place from relief work during the war); Diverse Communications (the US receiving point for donations towards the EQUAL GROUND Relief and Assistance Program); and SEED, an organization that has direct access to affected areas in rebel-dominated northeast areas.

In India:

AID (Association for India's Development) is a volunteer group which is registered as a 501 (c) (3) organization in the U.S. that regularly funds grassroots development and human rights groups in India. They have already starting sending emergency funds through their networks, and they send 100% of donated funds. At the moment they are matching donated funds dollar for dollar securely online through at AID is currently doing relief work in the Andamans via SEEDS as well as within the mainland; SEEDS India is one of the few other NGOs operating out of the Andamans and coordinating relief efforts in affected areas ( SEEDS has done earthquake relief, rehabilitation, and preparedness work in the past with the UN and the Gujarat government; Solidarity Network: Andaman Islands Relief. The Solidarity Network seems to have substantial leverage beyond typical NGO efforts, partly because it has some Bollywood industry players backing it. The Solidarity Network is working in coordination with military logistics to extend relief work beyond Port Blair to affected areas in both Andaman and Nicobar.

If this event goes well, we’re hoping to turn Dance Relief into an ongoing club night series with benefit parties supporting progressive development organizations. We are planning a large-scale one-year-anniversary event for next year on the weekend before Christmas to bring together as much of the city's talents and resources as possible to the goal of supporting long-term relief and progressive development in affected communities.

For more information, please contact Arjun directly at adirghan AT jhsph DOT edu