5 -- Umbrella Agencies in the Information Age

Umbrella Agencies
...and Other Information Technologies Resources


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Umbrella Agencies

An umbrella agency is one that represents many different organizations. Many agencies that come together for common cause form a coalition. A coalition is a union of separate elements that work toward the same goals to help people in need.

Gujurat had a major earthquake on January 26th, 2001. Umbrella agencies represent many different organizations to help the people in Gujurat. Two examples of the over 40 organizations within the InterAction agency are American Red Cross and Catholic Relief Services. All the organizations offer different forms of aid to the people in Gujurat.

The American Red Cross has distributed blankets, tarpaulins, rolls of plastic sheeting, kitchen kits, five-gallon buckets and lids, and tents to thousands of people who lost their homes and jobs. It has committed 2.5 million dollars to help Gujurat. The American Red Cross has also donated blood to the injured people who were in the earthquake.
  There was one major item that the American Red Cross contributed to Gujurat: eyeglasses. It gave over 400 brand new pairs of eyeglasses to the Gujurat population. There were many young children whose glasses were smashed under the rubble when their houses collapsed. Twelve year old Priya says, "It was hard to read my school books because my head would ache without eyeglasses. This present from the Red Cross means I can study like I did before the earthquake." This quote illustrates how happy and thankful the kids and adults of Gujurat are to have new eyeglasses. A relief team watched the kids and adults faces as they tried on their new glasses. Shuk Yee Yam said, "Watching the change in people's faces when they tried on their new eyeglasses was great. They were putting them on and taking them off several times, with huge smiles on their faces." This quote shows how the American Red Cross loves to help people in need, and how the relief team loved seeing these people happy and smiling. The people in Gujurat waited outside in the hot weather for their new spectacles. One by one, the victims from the earthquake came out with their new glasses. Many of the people who have lived in Gujurat had never owned a pair of eyeglasses because they were too expensive. For some, this was there first time that they had gotten their eyes checked. All help from American Red Cross is provided by donations of time and money from the American people.
Catholic Relief Services aid in many different ways such as agriculture, community health, education, emergency response, peace building, and micro-finance. They have been working in India for more than fifty years. They provide creative assistance for the villages in Gujurat that were destroyed from the earthquake. They have distributed to over twenty seven thousand households, and have constructed temporary shelters in twelve villages for about three thousand households. The Catholic Relief Services has a strong team of volunteers, and they believe that work is a meaningful expression of our human dignity. They think that it is important to contribute to the larger human family. Before the earthquake, India had a strong industrial base, which produced appliances, automobiles, textiles, computers, and building materials. India was also among the world's top five producers of commodities. Even though India has a great amount of production, areas in India are still very undeveloped. The Catholic Relief Services are helping India advance through agriculture, health, education, micro-finance, and humanitarian assistance projects.

 The agriculture activities aid farmers who have marginal lands. Catholic Relief Services uses natural resource methods to increase the crop production. Helping with agriculture activities helps to improve the farmer's household, and agriculture activities bring in food. Their goals are to improve the lives of the poor families living in Gujurat through environmental stewardship, agricultural development and social justice. The agriculture activities strengthen the farm families so they are able to take control of their own agricultural development. The agricultural programs in India focus on the poorest rural farm families and farm communities. They also work with farm laborers, the landless, and victims of man-made or natural disasters.

The Indian population has been increasing, and the farm size has been decreasing, therefore, the farm families often cannot produce enough food to survive.

The central point of the agricultural program is focused on entire farming systems which promote livable agriculture, while using a watershed management approach. The projects that the Catholic Relief Services work on are already existing farming systems, and employing multi-disciplinary approaches. They also consider agro-ecological aspects such as plants, livestock, natural resources, and climate.

Community health programs help to establish community structures that coordinate community activities with all health and development partners. The programs focus mostly on child survival, maternal and child health development, HIV, and Aids. The health programs are important because they upgrade social justice and defend human rights and dignity by helping the communities and individuals to obtain their basic health needs. Maternal health and child survivals are two health problems that need to be cured. Catholic Relief Service supports non-emergency programs such as the two health problems just mentioned. They focus on health care of the vulnerable groups in under-served communities. The patients with the greatest risk of poor health are mostly of reproductive age, infants, and very young children are the ones who are helped first. The health programs create linkages between community and local resources, between individuals, families, and communities, and Ministry of Health and other private and public health and development organizations. Linkages are very important, because they make resources available to address underlying causes of health problems in the community. Linkages are important because they allow for learning and sharing information.
  In India, the health programs they have are specifically contributing to the Safe Motherhood Child Survival Program Project. The Safe Motherhood Child Survival (SMCS) focuses on the health concerns of pregnant and lactating woman, and the children from 0 to 3 years old. India's health programs are focusing mostly on the SMCS program, because it empowers women to address their own health needs, as well as the power of their children and communities. India and the Catholic Relief Service follow a community-based approach to the health promotions and service deliveries. Over 2,800 village health workers across India have been recruited and trained. The community health programs consist of monthly health and nutrition education classes for all pregnant women, lactating women, and women with children from 0 to 3 years of age. The programs also have monthly growth monitoring and nutrition counseling for all children 0 to 3 years of age with follow-up and referral for malnourished children. Malnutrition is prominent in India, and it is estimated that 40% of the world's malnourished children are from India. Catholic Relief Service is trying to lower the percentage of children suffering from malnutrition, and they are trying to make India a healthy place.
Catholic Relief Services also supports India through school feeding programs. The school meals help children to endure short and long-term education, nutrition, and food security objectives. The Catholic Relief Service combines school feeding with education activities, which focus on improving many different things such as: the quality of education, girls' access to education, support for teachers, health/hygiene education and services for students, school infrastructure improvement, and increasing parental and community involvement's in school. The feeding programs in Indian schools are specifically emphasizing the importance of girls going to school. The school meals are encouraging the children to go to school on a regular basis, because they would receive a hot meal during the school day. The meal consists of essential nutrients, which improve their ability to learn well. The meal also encourages the parents to send their children to school because they know that their children will eat at school and they will not have to be worried about not feeding their children as much at home. The families have limited family funds, and cannot provide mid-day meals for their children. Therefore, when the children go to school consistently, it benefits the family's income. Catholic Relief Service does not give cash to the victims in Gujurat, because money can be diverted to purchase other things than food, and food is very important for the children and woman to have. The feeding programs are an excellent way of getting the children to go to school and to become educated.

Micro-finance projects help many of India's marginalized women. The Catholic Relief Service and its many local partners use a credit union model that encourages saving as a means of accessing credit. Micro-finance helps individual people other than helping groups of people.

As the reader can see, the umbrella agency helps India in many different ways. American Red Cross, Catholic Relief Service, and many other organizations are still helping India recover from the major earthquake. Gujurat is moving out of the relief phase to the rehabilitation phase. Gujurat is in the midst of a rehabilitation phase, and people are still living under tarps and tents that are supplied by Catholic Relief Services, and other organizations. Businesses are coming back together, and schools are resuming because of the help from umbrella agencies.

Jaime M.














More on Umbrella Agencies

There are several umrella relief agencies. InterAction is one such agency which heads other organizations in helping the India Earthquake victims. An umbrella agency is an agency that represents over 100 different organizations. Many agencies that come together for a common cause or purpose form a coalition. A coalition is an alliance or union of some kind. Umbrella agencies provide international relief for countries in distress among completing many other tasks. They have common goals and coordinate the efforts of other agencies with the same goals. Some of the agencies are small and some are large.

International Relief Teams (IRT) is one of the bigger umbrella agencies. It is also a member of InterAction but heads smaller organizations of its own. IRT is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to the victims of international disasters and international poverty. Natural and man-made disasters can occur without warning anywhere in the world. International Relief Teams offers both immediate and long-term relief to disaster victims. In previous years, volunteer medical teams have rushed to administer aid after devastating earthquakes in Armenia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Kobe, Japan, and after major hurricanes struck Jamaica, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Honduras. During the past year, IRT airlifted $130,000 worth of emergency medicines and more than 3,500 survival kits, to Mozambique for flood victims of Cyclone Eline. Thousands of dollars of emergency medical supplies were rushed to the survivors of the terrible earthquake in Turkey and to the victims of devastating mudslides in Venezuela. IRT volunteer construction teams have continued their relief efforts in North Carolina by repairing the homes of families still displaced after the flooding from Hurricane Floyd.

IRT is actually helping the earthquake victims of Gujarat as well. On January 26th, 2001 at 8:46am a devastating earthquake hit India. It measured 7.9 on the ricter scale. Homes, schools, hospitals, and many other buildings were destroyed. Many people died, and lost family members. IRT is helping to bring shelter, water, food, medical supplies, toilet facilities, vehicles, and manpower itself to the victims of the earthquake.

International Relief Team organization is working hard and sending out teams to other countries in need of help. They cover everything from starvation, to natural disasters. It is umbrella agencies like this that rescue victims of devastating disasters and lend a hand to rebuild countries. Gujarat needs to be rebuilt and start fresh. They need everybody's help. Countries from Greece to South Africa are helping the victims of the India earthquake and many more as well. If the world keeps up its efforts to help India , this earthquake will be a large obstacle overcome by man and hopefully bring the world closer for it!

Abby P.




InterAction is a membership organization of relief agencies. Members are agencies such as CARE and American Red Cross, who provide international relief. InterAction has over 160 members. Interaction, however, is not a relief agency itself. It helps to coordinate activities of its members to make sure that help is being spread out and different things are being done to help. They work with the United States government and the United Nations, and make sure issues are heard in Congress. InterAction is made solely of international relief agencies that are nonprofit agencies.

Within InterAction are three major committees: the commission on advancement of women committee, the disaster response committee, and the development committee. The commission on advancement of women committee works to promote gender equality within the InterAction members, international development and through humanitarian organizations. The disaster response committee provides assistance in emergency situations such as floods, earthquakes, wars, and fires. They help to rebuild houses, deliver clothing, food and blankets, along with much more to help the people affected by the disaster. Lastly, the international development committee helps people and countries with severe poverty.

InterAction created the PVO, Private Volunteer Organization, standards. They were created by InterAction and their members. The PVO standards are to make sure money isn't wasted, to make sure people are being helped with the highest standards, to help ensure that people get long and short-term help, among many other reasons. They state that its members are required to be honest to money donors about where their money is being sent.

 InterAction raises their money several different ways. Governments from many countries support InterAction, such as US, Japanese, Canadian, Australian and European governments. According to InterAction's Anita Malley, the Japanese government gives InterAction the most money, followed by the American government. Another way InterAction receives money is through dues paid by members, as well as private funding. If you would like to find out more about InterAction and their members, you can visit InterAction's web site.

Dori P



Associations Supported by InterAction

InterAction is one of the many umbrella agencies that supports numerous non-profit organizations, in helping nations deal with different issues around the globe.

One of the many associations that are supported by InterAction is an organization named the Academy for Educational Development (http://www.aed.org/). This organization helps with more than just education. It provides relief for many areas, such as health, youth, environment, and international environment needs. Each of these areas that AED helps are are important, and AED helps all these areas in their own way. AED collaborates with educators, community, government organizations, parents, policy makers, foundations and other institutions of higher education to help education.

The ways it helps education is, they support school improvement efforts and they develop school systems that offer better educational opportunities for all children, they strengthen schooling through better teacher education and professional development, by curriculum development and other such things. They also help by increasing communication and linkages between school and community; they promote policy dialogues that enrich opportunities for young people as well. They help education in areas such as a systematic policy in El Salvador all the way to coordinating the Middle Start Partnership in Michigan. The Middle Start Partnership is statewide reform programs that focus on middle school children and helping them make the transition from going to school, to going to school and working.

In the Health area, AED believes that, "people are healthy when they have access to care and prevention. Access means information, but it also means systems, recourses and support." AED areas of work for health include, health communications, HIV/AIDS/STD prevention and reproductive health, social marketing, maternal and child health and Nutrition, Community Health and Programs, Health Policy Reform and Management, drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse prevention, school health, disabilities, health projects, health publications and AED contacts. In each of these programs to help health they use, social marketing, communications, research and training health administrators.

They also help the young. In the US, more than 40 million people, or about 15% of the total population, are between the ages of 10 and 21. In many developing countries the under 25 population makes up 50% or more of the total population. Public attention, in all countries, focuses on the negative actions of the youth instead of the positive things. AED, however, sees children as assets or resources, who need to have access to opportunities to learn and mature as they become adults; instead of people who need to be "fixed". AED has developed numerous approaches to working helpfully with youth. They do this in their Center for Youth Development and Policy Research and in the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work. They also do work to design, guide and evaluate ambitions and programs that involve youth in issues that are of critical concern such as, after school programs, youth development, youth worker training, and youth empowerment. As you can see, AED really cares about the youth in countries around the world. AED also really cares about the environment. Issues like air pollution, uncontrolled garbage, water shortage, and global climate change are all things that the world is aware of, but awareness does not always mean action.

Taking from their experiences in education and health, AED works with many partners to change the environmental behaviors and move awareness into a positive action. AED believes there are four elements that are necessary to change negative environmental ways. They focus on, communication education and training on specific behaviors that individuals should change, they call this behavioral equals people-centered. Then the next step is called applied equals practice, this is when they translate broad environmental concepts, into the daily challenge, that individuals understand and face. The third step is interactive equals involvement, this is when they recognize the importance of constructive feedback, and the people retain information better when they do something, not just hear or see it. The last step is tailored equals designed for the individual or group, this is when they build upon the needs, constraints, recourses, and the abilities of a community.

AED is also involved in an international plan to make other places besides the US better environmentally. There is a project that they work on, which is called the Environmental Education and Communication Project. This helps many places around the globe. An example of a place it helps is El Salvador; here AED recently completed a five-year program involving schools, the media, the park system, government agencies and others as well. This program has also been active in Egypt, Nepal, Tanzania, and the Philippines. As one can see, AED is a very helpful and productive organization that is helping our country and the rest of the world.

A second organization that is supported by InterAction, is the Hebrew Immigrant Aids Society (http://www.hias.org). For more than one hundred years, HIAS, has had a huge impact on millions of Jews. For generations, HIAS has provided essential lifesaving services to world Jewry, through a mission of rescue, reunion and resettlement. HIAS has also responded to the migration needs of other people who are threatened and troubled.

HIAS was started in 1881, in New York City, by a group of Jewish immigrants who found sanctuary in the US after fleeing persecution in Europe. HIAS offered food, shelter and other aid to all these new Jews. Since its founding, HIAS has helped more than four and a half million people who were looking for freedom. This number includes the million Jewish refugees it helped migrate to Israel, and the thousands that it helped resettle in Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and other places as well. HIAS is the oldest international migration and refugee resettlement agency in the US, and therefore has also played a giant role in rescuing and re-locating the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, and of the Jews from Morocco, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the communist countries that are in Eastern Europe. Since the mid 70's, HIAS has helped more than 300,000 Jewish refugees from the former USSR, escape persecution and rebuild new lives in the US.

HIAS also advocates in the interest of refugees and migrants on the international, national, and community levels. In order to fulfill its mission, HIAS does the following to reach its goal. It provides information and a broad program of services at all stages of the migration process. It serves as a communications link between clients, communities of resettlement and government authorities. It advocates for fair and just policies effecting refugees and immigrants. It provides a cultural orientation for those legally eligible to enter the US as refugees, and it maintains an office in Vienna that can provide immigration information for people that live in Europe.

HIAS also provides a wide arrangement of pre- and post-migration services, to help its clients. Types of things it does are, it gives advice and assistance for prospective refugees and immigrants, both internationally and in the US, including good migration information on US policies and procedures. It helps in evaluating whether individuals qualify for an immigrant visa petition and aid in preparing documents because immigration into the US is based upon family relationships or employment. It uses training tools to help prepare for the naturalization exam and interview and assistance in completing the applications. It helps out, with legal counseling and representation at immigration proceedings before the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals. It has a multi-language correspondence hotline that answers any questions about immigration procedures and eligibility. It has a worldwide location service to find relatives and other missing people. It has scholarships for former clients and their children to help these people pursue their education and career goals. As a link between their clients, the Jewish communal network and government authorities, HIAS does many things. Some of these things are they work with a Jewish network of nearly 200 related agencies in the US in communities that immigrants can call home and provides information about these newcomers to the communities. It also administers the federal grant programs for Jewish resettlement in the US and monitors refugee resettlement throughout the country.

Finally it consults on immigration, resettlement and naturalization issues with communities throughout the US and internationally as well. The lastly, to fulfil its mission HIAS does the following to advocate the needs of Jews internationally, nationally, and in the community. They provide national and international leadership in the advocacy of policies and programs affecting refugees in discussion with the US government and the voluntary organizations. They monitor the US government activities on, immigration-related issues and the American Jewish community, and steps in on behalf of immigrants. They monitor country conditions for Jewish population in different parts of the world. They educate the American Jewish community on issues of concern and, coordinates advocacy efforts, and they participate in local and national coalitions of human rights and immigration to effect positive changes for the people at risk. In conclusion, HIAS helps Jews all around the world and is a huge effort to make the US a great place for Jewish immigrants to relocate to.

One last, of the numerous, non-profit organization supported by InterAction is Children International (http://www.children.org). Children International is a humanitarian organization, whose aim is to help children around the world overcome the burdens of poverty and become healthy, educated, self-sustaining and contributing members of society.

This goal is achieved mostly through "individual child sponsorship", which puts needy children with a sponsor who wishes to help the child with its immediate and its basic needs. Sponsor donations and contributions are used primarily for health and educational purposes. These things vary depending on the child but the different types of benefits are: yearly health exams, school supplies, school fees, school uniform items, clothing and shoes, items for their home, and nutrition and education counseling.

Overall, the program strategies are developed through the recommendations of various child welfare and development agencies in the US and internationally. These include the Child Welfare League, World Health Organization, the National Center for Disease Control and others as well. These are Children Internationals statistics, this global programs benefits more than 260,000 children and their families through 19 project locations. These locations are in Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, the Philippines, and the US. In the US, Children International's child sponsorship is called Share America. Also there is a program called, Holy Land Christian Mission, which is in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, which provides help to children, families and widows.

Children International was established in Kansas City in 1936, and is not religiously or politically related. The majority of Children International's funding comes from individual and corporate contributions. As one can see, Children International, is a heart-based organization who wants the best for our children around the world.

In conclusion, InterAction supports many important, non-profit, organizations, whose goal is to help people who are less fortunate or need help in the US and in international countries as well.

Megan B.




  ReliefWeb (http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf) is an organization which uses the Internet to help other countries. This organization is a project of the Unites Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA (http://www.reliefweb.int/ocha_ol/index.html) is an extremely important organization for in international relief. Many countries are helped daily from OCHA, which uses the web to complete most all of its deeds. Using the web, this organization has helped many

 countries in rebuilding their economies. OCHA has the mandate to coordinate UN assistance in humanitarian crises that go beyond the capacity and mandate of any single humanitarian agency, ensure that major humanitarian issues are addressed, including those that fall between the existing mandates of humanitarian organizations.

It coordinates the international humanitarian response, including contingency planning when appropriate. When a major, complex crisis breaks, OCHA consults with the UN Country Team through the UN Resident and/or Humanitarian Coordinator in the country(ies) concerned and undertakes inter-agency consultation at headquarters to reach agreement on the main humanitarian priorities for action.

OCHA then provides support for the coordination of activities in the country(ies). It also assists in resource mobilization by launching interagency appeals and in monitoring progress of relief efforts.

OCHA also provides the humanitarian community with sup-port in policy development. OCHA also tries to ensure that major humanitarian issues are addressed, including those that fall between the existing mandates of humanitarian organizations.

It advocates on humanitarian issues, giving voice to the silent victims of crises and ensuring that the views and concerns of the broad humanitarian community are reflected in overall efforts towards recovery and peace-building. OCHA also provides information and analysis to help raise awareness and enhance understanding of humanitarian issues, through its web site and electronic mail.

In the past, the web relief organization has helped numerous countries to reconstruct damages from natural disasters. The recent earthquake in India was a major disaster whose victims were supported by many relief funds. There are many examples of different organizations that have helped India.
  World Vision (http://www.worldvision.org.uk/main.htm) is an organization that has helped India by donating money and solving problems using the web. Over £1 million has been raised to help people affected by the earthquake in Gujarat, thanks to the generosity of the British public. World Vision supporters, together with many other people, were greatly moved by the plight of victims of the disaster and responded to their appeal for help. "This kind of generosity is staggering and heart-warming," says Debs Harris, World Vision program officer for India. She adds that World Vision is very proud to help support India during its hard times.

Another important organization that helped Gujurat was the Asian Development Bank (http://www.adb.org/ )Earthquake-devastated Gujarat in India will be rebuilt with the help of a US$500 million emergency loan approved today by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In addition, ADB has established an extended office at Gandhinagar, close to the earthquake-affected areas, to ensure prompt and efficient implementation of the rehabilitation project. This rehabilitation project was done through the web, where officers communicated through web-based methods. Parts of the fundraising were also made possible from the use of the Internet.

UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org/ ) has donated much time in helping the Gujurat fund. It has organized many different ways to raise money to help rebuild the city after its horrible earthquake. Most of the things that were done to help the earthquake from UNICEF were done through the Internet. Most of the research and communication done for helping India was made possible because of the web. UNICEF designed organizations to help by web-based methods. UNICEF has raised over $700, 000 in helping the victims of the disastrous earthquake.

Nida A.





...and Other Information Technologies-Based Resources

The Community Foundation Silicon Valley (CFSV) is an organization that builds a stronger community through strategic philanthropy. CFSV (http://www.cfsv.org/about_cfsv_1a.html ) has been has been raising money for our region since 1954. This is one of the fastest growing foundations in the nation. It awards grants of $50 million annually.

CFSV wanted to see how connected people who lived in the U.S. were to their family members and neighbors in India. Three dozen community foundations, other founders, and Saguaro Seminar of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University joined together to ask these questions of nearly 30,000 people in the largest ever survey on the civic engagement of Americans. In this survey, CFSV looked at how connected U.S. citizens are to their family, friends, neighbors, and civic institutions on a local and national level. It is hoped this project will assist residents in communities as they work to build stronger and straighten community bonds.

CFSV found that comparable communities' individuals socialize with co-workers outside of work about 10 percent more than we do; in the nation as a whole they do this 22 percent more than we do.

In an effort to raise money for the thousands of western Indians, CFSV sent an appeal of over 5,000 of their worldwide members to encourage further membership of community and national organizations. CFSV is also taking donations.

The UCA is a joint of numerous local organizations, working in collaboration with CFO community Foundation Silicon Valley where the UCA for India fund has been established. The UCA team is working closely to identify the short and long-term goals towards relief efforts. The goal is to raise at least $25 million.

The Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), a network of over 4000 health and development agencies in the country, with its several years of experience in disaster mitigation activities, has immediately responded to the emergency.

Another organization also raising money for the people of Gujarat is Aparajita (http://www.aparajitagujarat.com/aparajita1.html). Eleven Relief teams are already in position in the Talukas of Anjar, Bhachau and Bhuj. Four of these teams are from VHAI, two from Gujarat VHA, one from Rajasthan VHA and four teams are from Khoj projects of Jodhpur, Bodhgram and Barmer in Rajasthan and one Khoj project in Gwalior.

Each relief team of ten members consists of:
1 medical officer
2 paramedical professionals
2 social workers
1 development expert
1 local person with thorough knowledge of local logistics and language and volunteers
After providing emergency medical help and relief to villages around Bhuj, Bachau, Rapar and Anjar, VHAI has identified 15 villages for relief work in the second phase. This area includes five villages in Bhuj, four in Bhachau and five villages in Anjar talukas respectively. Names and other details about villages are Kanayabe, Dengara, Jawaharnagar, Morkhana, Gadermora, Baniari Vant, and Naugau.

On Thursday, February 1, 2001, a group of eminent artists got together at VHAI to discuss modalities of raising funds for the victims of the Gujarat Earthquake. For this purpose, visual and performing artists will come together for a fund raising event which is being planned by VHAI in collaboration with India Habitat Center. At the event, works from eminent artists should be displayed together with performances by famous dancers and musicians. The funds raised through these events will go to support the affected village artisans in the disaster affected areas through VHAI.

Another organization that is helping Gujarat is SEWA International (http://www.sewa-international.org.uk/). It is a service to relieve poverty, diseases, and help the needy, the weak and those affected by natural calamities, disasters, and other suffering.

To raise money for the people suffering in Gujarat, SEWA International is welcoming donations through their "Drought Relief Appeal". Donations are urgently needed to aid the relief work operations to provide food and water supplies to the affected regions. SEWA International strongly appeals for the support of alleviating the suffering of the people and livestock of Gujarat and Rajesthan.

Year 2000 has been declared the year of the child. SEWA International would like to help the disadvantaged children in India who became victims and lost their parents in natural or man made disasters viz earthquakes, cyclones, droughts and wars. To raise money for the children of Gujarat, SEWA International has a "Support- A- Child" program. The aim of this project is to help raise disadvantaged children by giving them equal chance to break the circle of dependence and where the disability is no longer an issue to develop faculties.

Devi Ahalyabai Smarack Samti is a charitable Trust in memory of Ahalyabai Holkar of Indore, known for its religious and philanthropic works. It is based in Nagpur and run by women for the welfare of girls of the weaker sections of the Hindu Society. The Samti runs Vanavasi Kanya Chhatravas (Girls Hostel) to train young girls selected from seven North East States of Bharat and are educated in various schools in Nagpur. Besides general education, these girls are also trained in Self Defense, Sports, Nursing, Social Work, various arts viz Music, Drawing, Painting, Tailoring etc. Majority of these girls achieve distinctions during their training. These girls also help in running schools in Seva Bastis (slums) nearby. After completing their education when they go back to their native places, they engage themselves to uplift their villages through education and other social activities. Currently, the Samity has 45 girls in the hostel. But the demand to train such girls from North East States of Bharat is increasing every day. To train one girl costs £200 per year. The Samiti's project is run on the spontaneous and generous donation from the well-wishers who come from all walks of life.

Since 1989, Kashmir Valley of Jammu & Kashmir States has been engulfed by pakistan sponsored terrorism which resulted in persecution of Kashmiri Hindus. As a result of terrorism, innocent Hindus were killed, their women folk were humiliated, their properties were burned. Without any hope and to save their lives, around 200,000 are living in Jammu area in camps with bare facilities because they could not afford to move out of the state. SEWA International UK, would like to help with the education of the children of these displaced families through Bhartiya Shiksha (Education) Samti of Jammu & Kashmir state. The Samti currently sustained by dedicated volunteers is in dire need of $50,000 to construct two Primary Schools and one High School to impart education to boys and girls to safeguard their future.

Lauren F.