American Overseas Medical Aid Association
This warm and caring group is helping so many folks in Nepal through their current disaster. Please visit their website and support their truly important mission.
by Lucia Cargill
Dear brothers and sisters:
I am writing to share an urgent call to action, about AOMAA initiatives in support of recovery in Nepal.
The American Overseas Medical Aid Association is a 501c3 non-profit started by Muhammad Laksar Laurence Rattay in about 1962 (and incorporated in 1972) to send medical goods and equipment overseas to physicians who request help. Shipments were sent over almost 30 years until he became unable to work any longer.
Under Laksar's guidance, the organization of all volunteers, that doesn't keep money, does not build an ediface or institution, had awards for service pour through the door year after year due to small scale, constant, steady projects in collaboration with local people. He was nominated for Presidential Commendations twice, and the organization has won numerous awards and honors.
The current Board of Directors and I have decided to launch the AOMAA-Nepal project. We have been requested to help by our brothers and sisters including Hamilton Pevec and Devika Gurung who live in Nepal, who are doing small scale urgent response work through what we call the "One-to-One" project. This "small-scale" model has had incredible results in past crisis situations that we have responded to. Volunteers are coming out of the woodwork. We are also working on building medical professional linkages to rebuild the Kathmandu medical school that was destroyed by the quake.
As you can imagine, recovery from any devastating disaster is long, hard, expensive, and exhausting. Long after the international aid community leaves, there will be much to do. So, we also intend to find a group of young local professionals who are interested in forming a local non-profit. We did this capacity building after the tsunami in Indonesia with great success over the following 5 years. The IBU Foundation (IBU for Aceh - Mother for Aceh) team worked hard running doctors out to shipping container clinics in IDP camps; covering remote village clinics; conducting individual and group therapy, plus intervention programs at the village level; doing mother and child wellness meetings (posyandu); building schools, teaching in preschools; engineering water and sanitation projects, providing psychological services, doing livelihood programs, co-creating new self-governance in refugee communities; initiating self-help programs, village health fairs, teen programs, etc. We had a medication pipeline from WHO; Subud members from all over the world came to volunteer or help from their location according to their talents and means. The young doctors went on to obtain graduate public health degress and many were hired by UNICEF and other country or international agencies.
AOMAA raised the first million dollar grant of $5 million total the IBU team was awarded from a German philanthropic organization. They earned the rest. This was due to the receiving of a German Subud brother to approach Action Medeor near Dusseldorf. IBU team succeeded wildly, receiving national and international awards. So many people kept their limbs, survived, found their loved ones, rebuilt their villages and lives. . . it was unbelievable what they did, what we did together. They helped children who couldn't even speak after having lost everything recognizable, including family, except for the sea and palm trees.
Now two of IBU team from Bandung are negotiating going over to Nepal. We hope to collaboratively recreate this type of organization, Nepalese style, with the perceived needs and culturally sensitive componants unique to Nepal. Building on our existing contacts, and are ramping up to build a program starting with an ever enlarging circle of love and service extending to thousands. Starting now, I hope you will choose to be included.
As I am the President and Acting Executive Director, I must set up the office here. We can all contribute to the project's success over time. Please think of how you would like to participate. I am working full time and could sure use some help! The door is open for direct aid to be sent straight to Nepal to provide shelter, food, clothing, medical care for earthquake survivors tomorrow. No overhead, no deductions. AOMAA serves as pass through organization unless required to manage a grant. We do ask for individuals so moved to voluntarily cover bank transfer charges or admin costs as a choice by earmarking their checks. When we link up and begin to build a local organization, we will facilitate that with grant money. No worries. . .this is not a constantly being dinged situation.
Today there is some urgency, as it is still the emergency phase, the One-to One project to help Hamilton and Devika to help others directly, to be followed by recovery and provision of medical care, inshall'ah, according to God's will.
Please donate or volunteer today. I have a list of things to do, roles to play large and small. Tax deductible donations will be passed straight through.
Sending love to the people of Nepal,
Lucia Cargill, PhD, PHN, MSN, FNP-C
President/Acting Executive Director
American Overseas Medical Aid Association