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How #tech4good is Helping People in Nepal

The Nepal earthquake was the deadliest earthquake to strike the region during our lifetimes. With a perspective of hope and optimism, we are looking for ways technology is being utilized to help in the recovery efforts. From the first moments of the quake to many weeks after, we’ve seen people mobilize on the ground, and online to help organizations, individuals, and communities recover.

From day one tech companies have been making a real difference. Facebook activated the  Safetycheck feature that helps people find out if their loved ones are safe. Facebook also stepped up to the fundraising raising plate. Over 750,000 people donated via Facebook, contributing over $15 million to support the International Medical Corps relief effort. Facebook donated an additional $2 million to local recovery efforts to help those in affected areas. Facebook did not act alone. Skype and WhatsApp also made call to the area free to place for days after the disaster.

More than $415 million is required for the 8 million+ people affected by the earthquake in Nepal. As of May 19th, there has been only 17% of required aid met.

To address these unmet needs, we asked “How might we support those who are committing to innovate, fundraise and help using #techforgood in Nepal?” It is in this spirit that we’ve created this resource guide.

Whether you want to get involved directly or understand how social media, crowdsourcing and technology are making a difference, we hope this is useful for you. Below is a collection of our favorite tools and efforts that are making a difference today.

 

  Learn to map!

For Nepal, map data is key to humanitarian missions. Opensource maps are giving critical information to groups on the ground. Read about the movement of thousands joining to map around the world. MapGive helps new volunteers learn to map and get involved in online tasks.
Start an account and learn here. And make sure to take a look at the Open Streetmap in action.

  Share data!

The Humanitarian Digital Exchange

Anyone can logon and share data sets about Nepal to keep the public and relief teams informed. Launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Humanitarian Digital Exchange is an open source platform where data comes to life.

  Explore

Nepal 2015 Earthquakes

A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture, though, is likely worth alot more. Take a look at this to view the continued  tremors visualized. The number of lives impacted is simply heartbreaking.

  Give!

Gift guides recommend giving cash over in-kind donations. So what kind of giver are you? We’ve seen a lot of momentum being built by crowdsourcing campaigns that aim to give directly to people and combat corrupt local officials that may misuse funds. NGOs and relief groups are also very helpful. They bring years of experience and are set up to release funds before you donate so they can respond quickly.

 

Give to  NGOS

UNOCHA’s Giving Guide

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has already released $15 million to kick-start immediate life-saving relief work in Nepal. CERF receives contributions year-around so that humanitarian partners can act quickly when and where crises strike.

UNICEF

UNICEF is on the ground working to reach 1.7 million children and their families with critical aid in Nepal.

And via twitter, you can see direct appeals, get information & start helping very quickly.

Join the  Crowdfunding

Looking to support untraditional disaster relief teams? Life IndieGoGoKetto.org, and #WeHelpNepal all have very successful crowdfunding campaigns to participate in and take note.

We’re also seeing individuals expand their reach by starting crowdfunding campaigns for large NGOs! By acting as ambassadors for the organizations, individuals are increasing the organizations’ impact. And it’s all based on telling personal stories that cause like minded people to take action.

Share Your Story

Let us know what you find inspiring. How are you making change? Have you seen anything noteworthy worth sharing? What ways are you using #techgood to make a difference?

Our Network of Activists and Our Response to Ferguson

(header photo credit by Matt Pearce)

We believe in the power in the digital tools to respond, shape conversations and take action in times of urgency.

And we’re both saddened & disgusted by the situation in Ferguson. The weight of the situation lingers in the air leaving many of our friends & colleagues asking “What’s next? What can I do? Why should I care? Does this even affect me?”

Yes.

Our network has a rich trove of information and sentiment. We connect with community organizers and nonprofits every day in the media space. And so we are writing this post as an inspiration for everyone reading this.

Dig deeper. Express yourself. Learn. Shape the dialog. And unite in solidarity with #Ferguson.

Every action matters. Your voice counts. Do what you can. Don’t let apathy be the rule of the day. Stand together because #blacklivesmatter!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen an amazing amount of Collaborative Community Organizing. And over the last few days, people in 37 states have been protesting in the street, stopping traffic, and expressing their desire for justice. Below are a few exemplary sites and projects we’ve found over the last 24 hours. And of course – if you have your own to share, please let us know in the comments!

Links!

No Indictment.org is a google doc (as of now) put together by local community organizers in Ferguson. It’s been a great low-tech way to get critical mass, and massive collaboration in place.

Ferguson Response is a collection of national events taking place. If you’d like to add your own event, or local action, go to the site. Or join an event already posted.

This mailchimp newsletter from the National Bar shows their response and concern for due process.

QZ posted a nice article on “things white people can do.” A great read on creating more empathy, and taking direct action.

There has also been a focus on Social Media’s role in bringing people together.

No surprise here. Tools like twitter and Nationbuilder have helped communities organize, fundraise, and spread the word. It’s been a welcome change to the mainstream media, and is a direct example of “democratizing publishing” as well giving people the chance to express themselves.

And if you are looking for a direct way to help – donate to Nicole Lee’s fund. She is voluntarily working as a legal observer in Ferguson, and documenting what is happening – on the ground.

On a day to day basis, we provide countless organizations and businesses WordPress support. And WordPress’ mission is to “democratize publishing.” We believe that part of this mission extends to free speech, and the ability to express yourself freely – physically, technically, emotionally. So we support the efforts to organize locally. And to do what you can to make your life matter.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment below and add your resources.

 

Updated

Have an idea for a solution? Submit it to #FergusonNext, a solution-based collaboration between Guardian US Opinion, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Page, Ebony.com, Colorlines, The St. Louis American and The St. Louis Riverfront Times.

Dance on Camera 2014- Thoughts on This Year’s Festival

As the weekend is about to commence, so is Dance Films Association’s yearly festival Dance on Camera. It’s a cultural deep dive into movement, experimental collaborations and as noted on DFA’s website a “recognition that dance thrives best in the bosom of a creative community”. The perk of interdisciplinary nature of our clients often is exposure to unique experiences. Take a look for yourself!

2014 Dance on Camera from Dance Films Association on Vimeo.

A relevant piece of Dance Film Association’s story is their legacy in their genre. In their 42 year  history they’ve been able keep current and innovative. That’s no small feat. We have a lot to learn about how they’ve done this. I have a hunch that it might boil down to understanding their niche, being a member centric organization, and meeting the needs of their community of dancemakers and filmmakers.

That’s where Dance Film’s Association has aligned with our expertise in WordPress web development. During our partnership, we have streamlined the process of accepting applications from filmmakers and created archives all the past festivals.

This year we are launching a new phase of their membership system, using BuddyPress. This new system will allow members to connect more easily and share immediate information about their projects and expertise as dance filmmakers through groups. Groups will be small hubs oF connectivity to bring their global community of members closer. We’re excited to present the system to DFA members directly and get  first hand feedback and thoughts on its use going forward.

If you’re in New York come join us at Dance on Camera 2014! We guarantee you’ll leave inspired and ready to build something great for your community.