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As you can see, we were able to help out a lot of people with only $300. We are so encouraged by that result, that we would like to make another trip with supplies on Dec. 6th.

Our target is to raise at least $2000 by Dec. 4th for this next trip!

Please tell your friends, families, colleagues, strangers, anyone to help out the cyclone victims, even if that is with a small amount!

You can give in two ways:

1. By sending a check to:
Jolkona Foundation
P.O. Box 2153
Kirkland, WA 98083
Please indicate on the check that this is for Bangladesh cyclone victims.

2. By clicking here to send money through PayPal
PayPal will deduct up to 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction� that we receive.

As Adnan mentioned, we just delivered some relief goods to the cyclone victims in Bangladesh. With a mere $300 collected in 2 days, we were able to:

  • Give out 50 blankets
  • Distribute 200 packaged meals
  • Distribute 60 bottles of water
  • Distribute 160 loafs of bread to children under the age of 14
  • Provide 5000 water purifying tablets which can purify 7,500 litres of water

You impacted the lives of more than 75 families affected by the cyclones!

We tried to identify the most effective ways to distribute these items. For example, we gave some of the purifying tablets to tea shops in local piers for boats and ferries. These shops are the usual gathering places for hundreds of people waiting for boats and supplies. We gave the tablets to these shops to make sure the public had clean water in their tea – a common drink in this part of the world.

We also tried to focus on making sure that these items were distributed to areas which have not yet received any attention from the larger relief efforts. Bigger relief organizations are focusing on areas labeled as medium- and high- remote areas. We went to Rongdhonu (means “rainbow” in Bangla) village which is labeled as low- remote area. All 22 families in Rongdhonu completely lost their homes in the cyclone, even though they have not received any help yet.

We (in fact, YOU) were able to provide some help to every family in that village.

I am pleased to say that at this very moment, our friends in Bangladesh is taking $300 worth of relief items to some of the cyclone hit areas in Bangladesh. It is a very emotional time for us, because this marks our first project. Naturally, we are very nervous at this point.

We are also very excited that some of our friends have come forward with the initial donations to make this trip possible. We hope to report back in couple of days about the results from this trip. We hope the results will spur more of you to support our efforts during this time of disaster.

As you may know, last Thursday Bangladesh was hit by a category 4 cyclone. It caused extensive damage across the southwestern part of the country. Here is a short rundown of the damage:

1. More than 3,000 people have already died. The death toll is expected to rise since thousands are still missing.
2. More than 3 million people have been displaced. Most of their homes have been destroyed.
3. The Sundarban forest, home to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger and a World Heritage site, was badly hit.
4. Many parts of the region are still submerged under water making rescue efforts difficult and raising fears of outbreak of disease.
5. There is a huge shortage of food, medicine, and clean drinking water.

Few of you have asked us if Jolkona is going to do something in this situation. Jolkona Foundation is getting involved in two ways:

Immediate Donations
As a first step, we are asking for immediate monetary donations. $10, $50, $200… any amount that you can spare in this holiday season will go a long way to provide much needed medicine, food and drinking water. Consider these examples:

· $100 can provide food to 70 people for 1 day
· $0.14 can provide 10 water-purifying tablets. Each tablet can purify 2.5 liters of water
· $0.50 can pay for 5 liters of Orsaline (a common Oral Rehydration Salt in Bangladesh)

We have agreements with experienced resources on the ground ready to receive these donations, buy the appropriate items, and distribute the items to the victims. You can give in two ways:

1. By sending a check to:
Jolkona Foundation
P.O. Box 2153
Kirkland, WA 98083
Please indicate on the check that this is for Bangladesh cyclone victims.

2. By clicking here to send money through PayPal
PayPal will deduct up to 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction that we receive.

We will continuously provide updates on our efforts through this blog.

Long term rehabilitation
Once the initial problems have been addressed, the survivors face the daunting task of getting their life back to normalcy. Jolkona Foundation will help out in that area too. Staying true to our vision, we will identify high impact projects where you can contribute and see the proof of your donations at work. We will provide more details about the long term options in few weeks time. The focus right now is very much on getting people the immediate help.

Please consider helping out in this time of need – any amount you can give will go a long way. We would also be grateful if you can forward this message to your family, friends, colleagues, anyone!

At this moment, we are building up our website which is an integral part of our vision and awaiting the approval of our 501(c)3 status. Until we obtain that status, donations that we receive are not going to be tax-deductible.

As a non-profit starting from scratch, Jolkona foundation faces a lot of challenges. Some of these challenges include:

  • Raising money for Jolkona Foundation’s operational expenses.
  • Finding projects that we would like to partner with.
  • Finding the right people to build out our website – an integral part of Jolkona’s vision
  • And more…

We are blessed to have a board comprised of highly qualified individuals. They have really helped guide us through the thorny process of forming a non-profit organization. In addition, we continue to receive generous monetary contributions from our friends.

However, for Jolkona to reach its potential, it is becoming obvious that we need more help from individuals who are willing to volunteer their time in a meaninful way. As a result, we are looking for volunteers to fill positions working in the following areas:

  • Website development
  • Coordination with partner projects
  • Coordination with fundraising
  • Coordination of Jolkona’s communication strategies, including our blog, newsletter, etc.

If you are interested in learning more about how to help us in any of the above areas, please send us an email to blog@jolkona.org. Also, if you would like to help us in other ways that weren’t mention, we would love to hear from you too!

JOIN OUR TEAM!!!

The success of a non-profit organization hinges on many factors. One factor is having an experienced Board of Directors that can provide the organization with solid leadership. Jolkona Foundation is blessed with such a board of extraordinary personalities.

Eleza, one of the co-founders serves as the treasurer/secretary of Jolkona Foundation. She is also enrolled as a MPH student (with focus on nutrition) in University of Washington. Before enrolling in the MPH program, Eleza had worked in the non-profit sector. She has strong experience in the day-to-day running of non-profit organization in the United States – something that was invaluable during the process of getting Jolkona incorporated and applying for 501c(3) status. She truly is the operational nerve center of our foundation.

Mushtaque has extensive experience in the field of public health. In addition to serving on our board, he serves as the Deputy Director of BRAC – the largest NGO in the world. BRAC is also one of few non-profit organizations that are self-sustainable today. He serves as the dean of James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University – one of the eminent public health schools in the world. He also serves as a visiting professor at Columbia University. Mushtaque has received numerous awards, including the prestigious “Social Innovator of the Year”.

Noah has been providing Jolkona Foundation with invaluable guidance in our early days. Noah serves as the Executive Director of Calcutta Kids, a non-profit organization he founded while he was an undergraduate student in Marlboro College, Vermont. Calcutta Kids is an organization committed to the empowerment of the poorest children and expecting mothers in the underserved slums in and around Kolkata, India. Calcutta Kids does an amazing job at keeping down their costs – something that we hope to learn from here in Jolkona Foundation.

Anna has an amazing life story to tell. Her inspiring story starts with a young girl growing up in war-torn Lebanon, moving to the United States at the tender age of 17 with a handful of change, to serving as an Executive Director of one of the leading non-profit organizations in Los Angeles, California. She has accomplished all that at a very young age. Anna serves as the Executive Director of Academy of Business Leadership, an organization that has brought innovative approaches to the education of inner city children. She also serves in various women leadership organizations including Women’s Foundation of California, Merrill Lynch Inaugural Women’s Advisory Council, and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Women’s Leadership Board. Needless to say, she also serves as an integral member of Jolkona’s board.

While I serve as the President of Jolkona Foundation, the individuals mentioned above are the ones who really move this foundation forward. It is my pleasure to be able to work with such a dedicated and dynamic group.

GET INVOLVED!