High Altitude Society column: dZi Foundation hosts fundraiser in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society column: dZi Foundation hosts fundraiser in Beaver Creek

Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

BEAVER CREEK — On Tuesday, March 1, the Vilar Performing Arts Center was full of people who care about mountains, mountain people and making a difference. Longtime Vail local and dZi Foundation Executive Director Jim Nowak came over from Ridgway and brought 12 brilliant films to screen from Telluride MountainFilm on Tour.

There was a great turnout, even with it being Tuesday caucus night and other important local fundraising events taking place on the same night. We are so blessed in this community to have all kinds of dedicated friends and caring individuals who show up to do what they can to help others.

The Colorado nonprofit dZi Foundation has worked tirelessly to transform lives in Nepal’s remote villages. According to the organization’s website, “Since (2001), the organization has grown significantly and has honed its focus on community-led development projects in some of the most remote communities in Nepal. dZi now employs a handful of people in the U.S. but has a full-time staff of almost 20 Nepali nationals working between our headquarters in Kathmandu and the remote communities where our projects take place.

“dZi currently serves almost 30,000 people in an expanding network of remote villages, focusing primarily on basic infrastructure such as school buildings, toilets, drinking water systems and bridges as well as agriculture initiatives.”

Devastating Earthquakes

After the devastating earthquakes in April and May 2015 in Nepal and the horrific aftermath of struggle and despair, locals and aid workers have come together to support this small country and its resilient culture.

“Immediately after the quake, our staff mobilized and distributed 2,378 heavy-duty tarps, transporting them to our partner communities by porters and mules — thus providing temporary shelter to 11,875 people before the monsoon rains began,” reads a fact sheet on the organization’s website “We also handed hundreds of tarps to the Department of Education in both the districts which were then sent all around the district to use in damaged schools.”

This boots-on-the-ground aid went a long way to helping the Nepali people. To learn more about what the dZi Foundation does in terms of creating improvements in quality of life for the Nepali people and the long-term support through a wide range of services please visit http://www.dzi.org.

Nepal’s recovery will be driven by the strength, skills and intelligence of its citizens. Thank you to the team at Telluride MountainFilm on Tour and David Holbrooke for his contributions to this important event. Look for his great film about his father, “The Diplomat,” other films on tour and to another dZi Foundation film festival event next year.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including local happenings, fundraisers for nonprofits and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at highaltitudesociety@vaildaily.com.

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