I'm Nittai Malchin, a senior at Palo Alto High School in CA and the founder of One Love Advocates. Our mission is to do whatever possible to improve access to education in communities that are struggling with destructive or endemic problems. My immediate focus is helping kids in Haiti gain access to educational opportunities. I recently traveled to Haiti, and I will be documenting my trip on this site. There are 4 sections (see navigation above) to my mini site: (1) my blog where i document my activities, impressions and thoughts from Haiti (2) About One Love where you can read more about the initiative (3) Support One Love where you can learn how to get involved, donate or help (4) contact info. And on the right sidebar you will find more info such as links to other sites, feeds, photos, videos, and ways to contact me or share One Love with others. Also, check out the cool toolbar on the bottom of your screen to see our videos, photos, and Facebook page, for translations, and more. Thank you for visiting and feel free to share your thoughts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tragedy in Japan

As Japan continues to suffer through the aftermath of the earthquake almost one week ago, we continue to search for ways to help the ravaged areas that were hurt most. Omri Maor, a member of the OneLove team from our second trip to Haiti, hoped to reach some more people and ask for help for the Japanese. Here is what he had to say:

Just a few days ago, Japan experienced a 9.0-magnitude earthquake—the most powerful in its known history, and the fifth most powerful globally. The offshore earthquake’s epicenter was closest to the Japanese city of Sendai, about 200 miles north of Tokyo. The earthquake caused a devastating tsunami that has claimed more than 4,300 lives, while at least 8,600 people are still missing.

Although it at first seemed that Japan, possibly the most earthquake-ready country in the world, and one of the most advanced and well-organized, would not need much help with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, it quickly became apparent that it is not so. 4.4 million houses have no electricity, and 1.5 million do not have water. Three nuclear reactors suffered explosions, flames consumed oil refineries and factories, hundreds of thousands are living in temporary shelters, and Japan faces a nuclear crisis worse than Three Mile Island due to the earthquake, which was more powerful than scientists predicted even in a worst-case scenario for the Japanese.

While Tokyo emerged relatively scratch-free (“only” facing food and energy shortages and a nuclear radiation scare), some cities are absolutely devastated. Minamisanriku reported over half of its population missing. In Sendai, an Australian professor said that all of his friends have no water, no electricity, or both. Entire cities have been washed away, and the rebuilding process will be costly and difficult.

How to help?

Although Japan is clearly better equipped to deal with a tsunami than Indonesia and other southeast Asian countries were in 2004, if not by virtue of economic power alone, it is still facing a tragedy that is beyond its power to deal with. Many aid organizations need financial help first and foremost in their urgent missions to help, as it allows them the flexibility needed to most efficiently help.

There are some high-tech ways to donate. To name a couple, Apple’s iTunes music store is allowing customers to donate to the American Red Cross with a simple click, and Zynga, creator of Farmville and other social networking games, is doing the same for Save the Children’s Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Children Emergency Fund.

There are many opportunities for mobile giving. Two major organizations, the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, are taking donations by text message: to donate to the Salvation Army, text 'Japan' or 'Quake' to 80888, and to donate to the Red Cross, text 'RedCross' to 90999.

For bloggers, a simple line of code can add a floating bar to the top of your blog, prompting readers to help. Check out hellobar.com for how to copy the code text to your blog.

For more information on how to help, check out the many news sites such as the Christian Science Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0315/Japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-How-to-help) and The Boston Globe (http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/articles/2011/03/15/us_officials_counsel_caution_when_donating_money_to_japan_relief_efforts/) for consolidated lists of ways to help Japan.

The horrors of the recent earthquake in Haiti is still fresh in our minds, and now our ability to provide help has improved. Hopefully we can each find our own way to help Japan. And whether you are religious or not, do not forget to pray for the Japanese.

One Love.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Call to Action

As I'm sure you already know, Japan was hit by a massive earthquake followed by an enormous tsunami on March 10th. These natural disasters shook the the nation, which is now in desperate need of help. The death toll is currently at 1,700 but it is rising rapidly, and there are tens of thousands of others who are missing, which does not bode well for the death toll. People have lost everything - their cars, belongings, homes, and even family members - in the sweeping floods from the tsunami.

While this Japanese situation is obviously very different from the Haitian one following the January earthquake, there are also many similarities. First, it's important to remember that real people, just like you and me, are being hurt - the death and missing tolls are not just numbers. Next, Japan is currently in a vital stage of the recovery process. Now that it is fresh in people's minds, it is far more likely to receive support and donations in hopes of restoring Japan back to the way it was. Unfortunately, Haiti is now out of people's minds, and is thus receiving less support than before despite the great needs that are ever-present - "out of sight, out of mind" some would say.

Remember, One Love's mission does not strictly pertain to Haiti, but rather to any and all struggling communities. Obviously there are far more places with problems than there are resources for us to help out, but we've decided that Japan is now in great need and that it is our duty to help. This is a call to action - please try to find a way to help, whether it be through donations or raising awareness. You can donate through PayPal (on the right of the blog), or simply send us a message asking for details and we will happily find a way to make things easy on you. The response that One Love received following the earthquake in Haiti was incredible, and it made me tremendously proud, and more importantly, helped improve the lives of many Haitians plagued by the earthquake. It is my hope that One Love will be able to help the struggling people of Japan much like it helped those of Haiti, and that won't be possible without the support of our friends, family, and community.

Be sure to stay tuned for more news regarding the situation in Japan and One Love's efforts to help.

One Love.