"For anyone thinking of donating to Raw Shakti's relief fund, I can verify that the organizers are definitely honest, compassionate people. They were among the loveliest people I meet in Samoa. I wish them, and all of Samoa the best in trying to deal with this huge loss."
-Meg Tyson, Samoa Baha'i volunteer
"Our daughter and son-in-law, Sara and Cale Reeves, [Peace Corps] group 78 gave the link to your donation site. If some money helps you help as many who need it as possible, that is what we want to happen. Keep up the good work!"
-Barb and Tom Carusillo
"Kevin Petrini has started a site to receive donations to help with the relief efforts. Kevin served in Samoa and is now a Samoan national developing a beautiful Yoga retreat with his wife and two new twin babies. Kevin is the kind of person you could have complete faith in your donations having the maximum benefit and not mismanaged."
- Kevin Pieters
As of 7:13 PM October 3, 2009 we have delivered the following items to villages in Samoa:
2,280 pounds of rice
2,725 pounds of canned fish
30 pounds of chicken
148 cases of water
720 pounds of oranges
14 cases of soap
2 cases of toothpaste
2 cases of toothbrushes
35 cases of milk
10 cases of crackers
15 cases of mosquito coils.
5 bags of clothes
We have given to the following villages:
How far your donation can go?:
40 pound bag of rice: US$20
25 pounds of canned fish: US$20
Case of water: $15
November 5, 2009
So far we have raised over $33,000 USD. This is an increadible act of generosity displayed by all involved. We thank you and the people of Samoa continue to thank you.
We have reached two of our fundraising goals and are now going to direct all our resources to the Sunset View Fale project. This is one of the only accomodations on Manono Island it will help the village when they are able to reopen.
October 13, 2009
Today we delivered some more food and water to some villages. We also filmed some interviews about people's experience with the tsunami. It was so neat to go out to the village where Namua Island is and to see the water pipe that all of you have helped to purchase for the island. The boat was there too. Sometimes it seems like things take so long here, but today, we could see the results of our work. 1.12 kilometers of water pipe now connect the island to the main island. That is a lot of pipe.
Some of the villages have done a lot of cleaning up, others look similar to two weeks ago when the tsunami hit.
October 7, 2009
Today we felt the effects of the aftermath of the tsunami at our home on the mountain. Kevin called us in the afternoon to report that another tsunami warning was in effect and that Apia was being evacuated. Faced with the possibility that last weeks tragedy could, horrifically, replay itself, we felt overwhelmed and unsettled. Aubry and Bryan had spent an hour in the morning snorkling at an Apia beach in an attempt to dip back into a bit of normal life. Now, with salt water still in our hair, we were reminded yet again of the fragility and fortune of our existence. Luckily, the warning was called off within the hour, but that was more than enough time to get us all processing the reality of what we are living through.
We were planning on having the Namu'a water pipe installed Thursday but that will be delayed until a later date. While this is a frustrating setback, we still hope to install it as soon as we can.
October 6, 2009
Today was a big day for us. We purchased the motor for Namua Island and also 1.12 kilometers of water pipe. It is amazing how long it can take to do purchases in Samoa, but I am told that it went as quickly as can be expected. We continue to try to get things out to people who need them as soon as possible. This is one of our strengths as an organization. We can see what can be done to help, and we can act on it right away.
We also posted some new videos of our efforts.
October 5, 2009
In the morning, Bryan purchased and distributed supplies to a family in the one of worst hit areas. They requested specifics like cook stoves, flashlights, and flip-flops. In the afternoon he and Aubry took a trip out to Manono Island with Leota and Sau Leiataua who own Sunset View Beach Fales, which were severly damaged by the tsunami. Bryan and Aubry walked around with Leota as he surveyed the damage and explained what would be needed to get Sunset View up and running again. Losses included the main building with kitchen and dining facilities, six coastal fales, a water tank, and a boat. Leota requested three things to get up and running again: a basic facility for cooking and serving food, a water pump, and a boat with a motor.
October 4, 2009
Today was a much needed rest day for our support crew. We are excited that we have nearly reached our goal of $12,000 for the immediate relief, and that we have also raised enough to buy a motor for the Namua Beach Fale boat. We hope to purchase it tomorrow or Tuesday.
October 3, 2009
We have reassessed our goals based on what we saw and experienced today. We feel that the immediate relief of the food and water is now being taken care of by many organizations. We will continue to bring supplies when ever we go out to the effected areas, but not at the rate we had been doing previously. So we estimate we only need a few thousand more for this part.
We are shifting our focus to intermediate term projects that will help the villages regain their livelihoods. We want to help some businesses get reestablished to bring money into the villages for the long term.
1:08 PM Kevin and Aubry finally, after three hours, were able to buy enough water to fill the truck. They also bought cases of oranges, toothbrushes, and soap to be delivered. It is on its way to the villages now.
October 1, 2009
10:02 PM Today Kevin and Bryan drove to some of the worst hit parts of Upolu Island. They drove with a carload of goods to give to those in desperate need. We saw people living under tarps on their old foundations. Everything is gone for some villages. Thanks to the kind donations we gave out 40 bags of 40 pounds rice bags, 40 boxes of tinned fish, 10 boxes full of water bottles, and 5 large bags of clothing. We gave things in the villages of Saleaumua, Mutiatele, Saleapaga today. We could not fit it all in our car so we are partnering with Caritas Samoa, a Catholic organization, for them to help distribute. Bryan took some footage of the destruction and people talking about the tragedy. It is touching to the core. We care deeply about Samoa and are doing what we can thanks to the kind donations. We will continue to be strong and serve in the ways we are able. As of 9pm we have raised US$10,272. Thank you all.
7:44 AM Today, Bryan and Kevin are dropping off one load of food to be delivered to Savaii. Then driving out to the south east side of Upolu to deliver some food and to see the damage on that side of the island. Also since communication is difficult in Samoa, we will be checking on certain people to let their families overseas know if they are okay. Taialofa and Aubry are going to stay home with the twin baby boys. So far we have raised $7,500.
September 30, 2009
4:30 PM Bryan and Kevin just returned from a delivery of food to two villages. We are working with a church that knows who needs help the most. We are really able to help thanks to the generous donations. So far we have raised nearly $3,500.
1:00 PM Kevin and Bryan are about to take that car and drive food and clothing to the people in the villages. We are trying to gain the strength to help.
6:30 AM The shock of the situation is hitting us. So many people we know have been lost. So many others in need of immediate help- food and other supplies. And of course the immense task of rebuilding all the homes, schools, and everything else that was lost will take the most resources.
September 29, 2009.
8:23 PM We are here in Samoa. We have been fortunate enough to live up on the mountain and have not been injured by the tsunamis. Others have not been so lucky. Many people that we knew personally have died, killed by the sea. Much of the south side of the islands have been hit the worst. We heard that Coconuts beach club, Maninoa, Salani surf camp were all wiped. Many of the villages lost everything- their houses, their plantations, everything. We are going to help to the best of our limited abilities. We can use your help. You can donate to our fund to help the villages by clicking the Donate Button below.
Thank you for caring. Taialofa, Kevin, Bryan, Aubry.
(Please note that 3% is incurred in paypal fees for the donation. The rest will go directly and solely to help the people in Samoa.)
(Also note that the money is being processed through SchoolYoga Institute. Be assured that it is going to us and we will use it to help the villages
Join the Facebook Group: Samoa Tsunami Relief Effort- Sponsored by Raw Shakti
Please post all updates here about where and how to help the victims and families in Samoa and American Samoa. Also, please share any updates you may have about Samoa, American Samoa or Tonga. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=179294189324