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Identity & Community

Pittsburgh Tries To Help Following Devastating Earthquake In Nepal

AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
A man sits with a child on his lap as victums of Saturday's earthquake wait for ambulances after being evacuated at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 27, 2015.

With a casualty count climbing into the thousands following this weekend’s devastating earthquake in Nepal, some in the Pittsburgh community are looking for ways to provide the country relief.

One effort underway is from nonprofit Brother's Brother Foundation. Luke Hingson, the foundation's president, said they have already collected $10,000 in relief funds.

Brothers Brother will be partnering with Himalayan Health Care, a Nepal-based charity and with ADRA International, which is focused on earthquake response.

“We are tied in with local medical organizations inside the country," Hingson said. "They’re telling us what their needs are. We have to respond to what the local people say is good for them."

The Pittsburgh area has an estimated 5,000 ethnically Nepali Bhutanese. It’s the largest refugee group in Pittsburgh. The vast majority have come in the last decade, part of an emptying out of refugee camps in Nepal where the Bhutanese lived for nearly two decades.

Others have come as secondary migrants, moving to Pittsburgh after being resettled in other U.S. cities. Rup Pokhrel, president of the Bhutanese Community Association in Pittsburgh, said there is a connection to those affected by the earthquake.

“We remain in that country 18 years in the refugee camps, and we feel that it is our responsibility and our obligation to support people when they are in dire need,” he said.

He is coordinating relief efforts and monetary collection efforts with similar community associations in other cities in Pennsylvania.

“There are people thinking about sending some items, but we are encouraging our people to send monetary contributions rather than materials,” he said.