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Build 2000

Trent Collects Donations for Earthquake Relief


Students Appeal to the Peterborough Community for items needed to help victims of the disaster

Friday, October 14, 2005

(Peterborough) The Trent University community is mobilizing to collect donations for victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Pakistan last weekend.

Under the guidance of students S.K. Hussan, Najim Dost and Waqas Anwar, volunteers will collect items and cash donations on campus and throughout Peterborough next week.

According to Mr. Hussan, clothing, tents, tarps, blankets, mattresses, first aid kits, water purification tablets and food such as high-energy biscuits are all needed. Cash donations will be accepted as well and will be used to buy necessary supplies.

"Our plan initially was to have a raffle and then donate the money," said Mr. Hussan, a second-year student and a Don at Lady Eaton College. "We realized though that the simplest and quickest way to help was to ask to have these items donated."

Collection tables will be set up outside Wenjack Theatre on Monday and Tuesday and outside the Bata Library on Friday. Donations can also be dropped of at the Trent International Program office in Champlain College. Volunteers will also visit faculty and staff next week to appeal for donations.

Long-term fundraising plans include an event being organized by the Trent group H.O.P.E. at The Rooster on Saturday, November 12. Mr. Hussan said volunteers also plan to approach Peterborough organizations and the College Cabinets to ask them to donate five per cent of their profits to this cause.

Mr. Hussan says the response from students has been overwhelming. About 20 students attended a meeting to organize relief efforts. As well, Mr. Hussan has been receiving a steady stream of emails asking how to help.

The tragedy has hit close to home for Mr. Hussan. His family resides in Karachi, Pakistan. He has been in close contact with friends and relatives since the earthquake.

"The government (of Pakistan) says it cannot save any more survivors – everyone is sad."

However, Mr. Hussan noted the disaster has mobilized many in Pakistan to help.

"There has been a massive youth turn-out in all the major cities. Students and young professionals are working as volunteers to collect donations. This energizes everyone," he said.

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake largely affected Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Saturday morning, causing wide-spread destruction. As many as 30,000 people were killed in Kashmir. A number of villages were entirely wiped out and rescue attempts have been difficult due to risky terrain, snow covered peaks and lack of bridges into the remote mountainous region. The earthquake's effect was felt in both the Indian and the Pakistani capitals some 700 kilometres apart.
Other areas also affected included Indian administered Kashmir, India, and Afghanistan. Relief efforts in the affected region have been hampered by bad weather and rain, and to date in some remote areas, survivors are stuck outside in the cold and rain with no supplies.

For more information on donations or the opportunity to volunteer, contact Mr. Hussan at hussan@gmail.com

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For more information, please contact S.K. Hussan at 875-9376.

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Last Updated October 21, 2005