Relief efforts are underway after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal over the weekend, killing thousands of people.
"Nepal is not OK. That's why we are planning to do a lot of fundraising and candlelight vigils," Anil Pradhan, the president of the Nepal Cultural Society of B.C., told CBC Radio's Rick Cluff.
Pradhan said he was wakened by a phone call in the early hours of Saturday morning.
"It was a terrible, terrible feeling. When I saw it, I was almost crying. Generally I don't cry, but it happened to me."
Pradhan's sister lives in the capital city, Kathmandu, 80 kilometres from the epicentre of the earthquake. Pradhan said his wife finally reached her yesterday to confirm she is alive, but unable to go home.
"It is really, really bad … wherever they go they can see a dead body or destruction of the old buildings," he said.
The money raised by the Nepal Cultural Society of B.C. will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross — one of the agencies on the ground in Nepal.
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The Canadian Red Cross is co-ordinating with the Nepalese Red Cross to determine where help is needed.
"A lot of those more remote communities — they're very difficult to access because roads are damaged, because of debris that's blocking the way," said Karen Leiva with the Red Cross.
"Once emergency responders can reach all of those areas, we're going to have a fuller picture of all of the damage."
There are a number of other organizations accepting donations for Nepal. Here are some of the other agencies taking donations from Canadians.
- UNICEF Canada is taking donations to help children and their families affected by the earthquake.
- Médecins Sans Frontières — or Doctors Without Borders — is deploying eight medical teams to the affected area.
- World Vision has rescue teams in Nepal with a focus on shelter, education, water, hygiene, distribution of non-food items as well as child protection.
- Save the Children has a focus on helping the most vulnerable children in the affected area.
- OXFAM is on site to ensure people in the affected areas have food and water.
- The World Food Programme is taking donations for people in the affected area.
- The Salvation Army has aid workers en route to Nepal to assist other relief efforts.
- Habitat for Humanity will help people with its expertise in home building and community re-building.
- ShelterBox is working with other organizations to get a sense of what the shelter needs are in the wake of the earthquake.
- Canadian Medical Assistance Teams mobilized its assistance team to Nepal. It is accepting money and Aeroplan miles.
- CARE Canada has workers on the ground to help with immediate, life-saving needs.
- Plan Canada is helping children and families affected by the disaster.
- SOS Children's Villages is on the ground to help unaccompanied and displaced children and their families.
- Samaritan's Purse has emergency staff and partners on the ground in Nepal.
The Canadian government announced Monday that it will match donations to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund dollar-for-dollar until May 25. The matching will be retroactive to when donations first started streaming in on Saturday.
To hear the full interview with Anil Pradhan, listen to the audio labelled: Help for Nepal.