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University and community help in tsunami relief efforts

Jan. 5, 2004

By Marisa Long

In the wake of the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean, members of the Ohio University and Athens communities are developing ways to assist with the tsunami relief effort.

"The tragedy of Dec. 26 touched so many lives around the world, including members of our Ohio University family. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the people in the region of the world," says Ohio University President Roderick McDavis. "We hope that the small part in the relief effort that our community can play will help those who were affected by this unimaginable disaster."

The Southeast Asian Studies Association (SEASA) is collecting donations at College Gate this week to raise money for the Nurani Dunia Foundation, a non-partisan Indonesian humanitarian organization that has been involved in development and assistance in North Sumatra. The organization, which was co-founded by Ohio University Professor Elizabeth Collins, has access to the Aceh region and distribution networks operating on the ground.

"We are raising funds to help meet needs of people and to help them rebuild their communities," Collins says. "We will place special emphasis on funding participatory development projects that help communities rebuild their schools. We focus on children so that the tsunami does not destroy the hopes of the next generation."

Donations can be made to People to People Aid in Support of Nurani Dunia. All contributions are tax deductible, and it is a registered 501(c) organization. If you desire a receipt for your donations, please include a stamped self-addressed envelope. Checks or money orders should be made payable to People to People Aid in Support of Nurani Dunia and sent to:

Karla Schneider
People to People Aid in Support of Nurani Dunia
Ohio University Center for International Studies
Yamada International House
Athens, OH 45701

In Indonesian Rupiah, donations may also be made via bank transfer to Nurani Dunia in Indonesia. Account information is available at www.nuranidunia.or.id. For further information on how to donate, contact Ann Shoemake at as190590@ohio.edu or Adrian Budiman at budiman@ohio.edu.

A service of remembrance for tsunami victims will take place at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church. The event is free and open to the public and the service will be non-denominational.

The church will also host a Tsunami Help Athens Fundraising Dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. that evening. The event will include Asian-inspired dishes prepared by local chefs and restaurants and an auction of locally donated goods and services. There will be live music by local musicians, and the event is free and open to the public. Donations for tsunami relief organizations will be accepted and information regarding many relief organizations working in the disaster areas will be provided at the event. For more information or to donate goods, services, time or food, please contact Hilarie Burhans at 593-6315 or burhans@frognet.net.

The Indonesian Student Association is planning a fundraising dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 16, in Baker University Center Ballroom with all proceeds benefiting Nurani Dunia. The international dinner will include a silent auction of Indonesian handicrafts and presentations about Aceh. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the Yamada House for International Studies and the first floor of Alden Library in the Southeast Asian section. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

In addition to relief efforts, International Student and Faculty Services will offer support to any students or faculty who may have been affected by the tragedy, and the office will have information on relief efforts taking place at the university. For more information, visit www.ohiou.edu/isfs/ or e-mail isfs@ohio.edu. Counseling and Psychological Services will also be available to speak to individuals affected. Visit www.ohiou.edu/counseling/ for more information.


Marisa Long is a writer with University Communications and Marketing.

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