Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kilung Earthquake Relief 2010

This article is extracted from an email that I received in my mailbox this morning.

Thank you one and all!

The outpouring from around the world was tremendous. Kilung Rinpoche’s vision fulfilled: Our friends in the wide world did become one warm heart to help raise the hopes of the devastated people of Kyekudo for their future. We exceeded our goal! (see below)

Our team of Kilung monks, community members, and friends from China tirelessly brought Tibetan food and goods to Kyeku, distributing relief in three days to over 2,000 striken individuals, including Tibetans, Chinese, and Muslims. The milk products, tsampa, and tea were enough to feed each person for 12 days. We also gave out ceramic bowls, lighters, candles, water, teakettles, soap, and first aid supplies.

The recipients were more than thrilled to receive healthy Tibetan food. Many of them pleaded for extra packages for those who couldn’t leave their tents. There were many grateful reports that our trucks were the only going to the far corners of the encampment grounds, serving folks who had previously received fewer supplies and food than others in the camp. While there was some other tsampa being distributed in Kyeku, we heard there were no other milk products, and so ours were received with resounding joy. When other NGOs heard about our butter and cheese packages, they were inspired for the future.

See more compelling photos by team member Trindar Getse showing the process from packing up food in Dzachuka, to delivery to outstretched hands and hearts in Kyeku.

The day after the earthquake, as Kilung Rinpoche and i were conceiving this plan, we gulped at the thought of raising the $32,000 needed, wondering if enough donors would answer the call. But the emergency nature of the situation required us to take a leap of faith…and did you ever deliver! In one week, we not only made the goal, but exceeded it: Over $38,000 was sent or pledged. We just can’t thank you enough!

Some of the surplus money will make possible a second trip to Kyeku with additional tsampa (barley flour), already ordered and milled for us. Another buying trip is needed to Ganze for the small camping stoves on our original delivery list.

The Kilung Foundation is planning to extend the relief effort to needy Kyeku earthquake victims for the next two to three years. Government relief has provided tents, packaged food, water, and most recently, the start of electricity and temporary housing in the form of metal huts. But we know that individual families are still in need of much to get them over the hump until Kyeku has been put back together again.

Our plan: To provide essential, nutritious milk products from Dzachuka to 50 Kyeku families for the next two to three years. We will do this in a sustainable way: by buying 100 yaks, grazing them on land provided by Kilung Monastery, cared for by several Kilung nomad families.* Milk products will be trucked over to Kyeku twice a year, and delivered to the 50 families that our monastery team has identified as most needy, with the advice of Kyeku community leaders and elders.

How you can help: Sponsor a Kyeku Family for $36/month for two years.

This will buy the two yaks (dri) needed for each family. 48 sponsors are needed, because Kilung Foundation has already sponsored two families with surplus money. Sponsors are needed by May 30 to purchase 100 yaks before start of the summer milking season. First delivery to Kyeku: mid-summer 2010!

To sponsor:
1. Send a check to Kilung Foundation, PO Box 622, Langley, WA 98260, or,
2. Go to our website to use your credit card, including automatic donations, or,
3. Email us for more information, including about automatic bank payments.

All donations tax-deductible. We will send tax receipts.

In addition to helping the earthquake families, our plan will benefit Kilung community in several ways — by helping to restock the yak population which still hasn’t completely recovered from the snowstorm of 2008; by encouraging the traditional Tibetan way of life; after Kyeku families are on their feet again, the milk products will go to Kilung community and monastery; and as backup resource for future emergencies in the area.

Deep gratitude to everyone, for the myriad of ways that you have made a difference for the people of Kyeku in time of dire need.
Diane Berger
Kilung Foundation
Whidbey Island, Washington

*Note: Milk products coming from the high grasslands of Dzachuka, where Kilung is located, are famous for being extra-nutritious and rich. The yaks there graze on an amazing amalgum of fragrant medicinal and flowering herbs at an altitude of 14,000 feet. Kyeku, on the other hand, is located at 12,000 feet, in a different climate and growing zone. Bringing the cheese, butter, milk, and yogurt from Dzachuka is a high-essence and nourishing gift indeed!

Letters on the Kilung website: Kilung Earthquake Relief Appeal .
On Facebook: Kilung Foundation Earthquake Relief Effort on FACEBOOK

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