Nepal Earthquake Relief and Blockade

Photo of SARDogs Nepal teamRegular readers will remember our four legged friends SARDogs Nepal. You may be wondering how they are getting along, after seeing news reports about the blockade affecting earthquake relief donations. This site gives a good overview of the situation.

4Wheel Drive vehicle being pushedAnybody wishing to help the poor people of Nepal, who are victims of natural disaster and political infighting would naturally worry about whether their kind donations are actually getting through. It would seem that donations made directly to not for profit organisations on the ground in Nepal, such as SARDogs Nepal, do get through and can make a difference (see below). If you would like to learn more about their work and make a donation please visit their website: SARDogs Nepal or their German backer’s website where there is a clickable Paypal button (called “spenden”).

What they are most in need of is a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get around Nepal’s notorious roads. A vehicle of their own would save them money in the long run as they currently have to hire transport. If anyone can help with this, or knows of anyone that can help; please do get in touch with the SARDogs via their website. Thank you.Photo of Tendy and pups

As for the SAR Dogs themselves? They have some new recruits! Uttam and Tendy worked late night shifts together and produced some puppies. Previous puppies Chitra and Chetan have started their training.

Quote from Daniela who fund raises for SARDogs Nepal, in Germany, from her website: “….I was asked how we handle our donations. This is what I answered:
Photo of Tendy and Uttam's PupsAbout using of donations:
maybe you know that German tax and donation laws are some of the strictest in the world. The German tax office is controlling us strictly and without any gap and we have to show what we do with each cent that we sent to Nepal.
We are only a very small registered charity with 9 active members and only our 3 boardmembers are working actively in this donation – and disaster relieve operation. We all are volunteers. We don´t want to grow bigger only by passiv (paying) members. This is because we have same concept like Greenpeace. Only a small handfull of activists that are fast and flexible to decide what to do with donations with some few short phone calls, SMS or emails. If you have a huge membership, this process will take too long time in case of emergency.
Our only expenses are banking fees and some phone bills so we can guarantee that nearly all money goes to Nepal.Photo of Chetan

In the begin of operations in this eq, we had to use Western Union to send our money as fast as possible to Nepal. We had to pay 5% of the amount for banking fees. Now Western is for free, but it is better to use normal banking because we can send (and Jit can receive) bigger amounts in one time. It takes some days for the money to arrive on their account, but if we send 10 000 Euro we only have to pay 30 Euro fees, this is 0,3% only. I think we work efficiently.

The bank account of SARDOGS Nepal is absolutely safe against seizuring by the government. First time it was not sure to us but after Jit had meeting with the bank director, he guarantees that SARDOGS account is absolutely safe. Since that, we use bank transfer again. SARDOGS bank account exists since many years. SARDOGS is a not-for-profit company and so it is safe, and not victim of the new rules by Nepal´s gov.

Photo of ChitraSARDOGS Nepal is a (p) NFP, that means it is a company and is registered by Nepal company law. That means, on the one hand the gov can not seize anything of this company. If it was only a charity society, this could be happen by Nepali laws. As a pNFP SARDOGS has to make annual tax audits and has to show what they are using the money for.
On the other hand, it is a NFP = not for profit. This means, they are not allowed to hord money but have to use any income directly into the work of the company – means, make training in our academy for new young dog handlers, act in case of disaster and other emergencies, and invest into our equipment and so on. We have same model of company in Germany, too. German Red Cross for example runs all their Paramedics and Ambulance Services as a pNFP by German company law. It is also tax deducting way and they use donations to finance it, as well as transport fees and insurance payments. In Germany we call it gGmbH (gemeinnützige GmbH). SARDOGS Nepal does exactly same. This is why SARDOGS Nepal is accepted by our strict German donation and tax law and we are allowed to support them by our donations.Photo of Bilbo

SARDOGS has to send to us bills and receipts of every coin they use from our donation money. It is splitted exactly into “general donations” and “only for earthquake relief use”. From general donations, for example we can buy dog food, vet bills, pay the salaries of our dog handlers, pay insurances and so on. From earthquake donations, we only pay our rescue-/recovery- and relief operations. Most expensive costs is transport. Without an own 4WD or any other vehicle (SARDOGS only owns a motorbike), we have to rent jeeps and trucks to reach the areas where we are needed. I asked them to make an overview to show how much money we have spend last 4 weeks only for transportation. I just was looking in a nepali newspaper for second hand 4WD and it is still quite expensive, but we could have paid a first installment easily from those expenses. Food and lodging while journey for all the team is only a quite small amount. All the other donations are used for buying relief materials like medicine, blankets, matraces, tarpaulins, ropes, rice and other food supply, water filters and desinfectant and so on. If we don´t find enough volunteers, we also have to pay porters and if available, mules and horses for transport.

Neither we, nor SARDOGS Nepal pays any coin for advertising, as other organizations do. Our only way for asking for donations and advertising is to go online on FB and Twitter and so we work since many years (sometimes with quite low success, but we all are no experts in fundraising…).

Photo of SAR Dog Uttam

Uttam and Purna Tamang

Maybe this may help you little bit to explain to your donators how we work. They are absolutely right, one has to be careful with the money. There are so many scams now on the “market” that want to earn money with this disaster. And as an insider, I can tell you, some larger well-known organizations do nearly same. They use the eq to collect donations but they already stopped to work in Nepal and called back all their staff. On their website they only write “we watch the situation in Nepal” but no word what they do with the money they still receive. I was on one of their betterplace sites, it is several 10 000 euro they already collect. And I asked “what for” and no answer. Not a single coin will reach Nepal, they only use it for own purposes maybe in future on other places of the world or whatelse for.
This is not how we work! We are in Nepal and we stay in Nepal and we work on the spot.

ok enough for now.


All photographs courtesy and copyright of SARDogs Nepal.


4 thoughts on “Nepal Earthquake Relief and Blockade

  1. A very worth cause.
    I always wondered how much money got to the disaster zones in any of the charities I supported back in my working life, but now I can’t afford to donate to worthy causes like SARdogs, but I still like to hear about their work, so thank you for sharing.

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