RELIEF, RECOVERY, REBUILDING
registered nonprofit organization, the
Kenan Institute Asia.
KlAsia's ties to Thailand have become
so strong over the years that it's the only
nonprofit organization Thai Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra selected to be on his
ii-member "national competitiveness
team" in 2004.
Because of that close relationship,
Kasarda says, there is not only an obligation
to help Thailand recover, there's a real
"There's just a very warm, longstanding
re doing something
Leaning over and picking up the 16-
page proposal, Kasarda smiles.
It is a request to the William Rand
Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust to help fund a
tsunami recovery program that Kasarda
says "goes well beyond what any other
university is doing, by a major qualitative
"Since the devastation was so vast, we
couldn't spread our energy and limited
reSOUIces over a wide area. So tbe decision
has been made for us to select a commu-
nity with berween 1,000 and 5,000 fanu-
lies. So let's say berween 3,000 and 20,000
residents that have been devastated by the
tsunami where we can make a major dif-
ference in rebuilding their lives and
rebuilding the conununities.
"We decided to do that by bringing
together three critical needs: education,
small-business development and COnullU-
nity development. That was a major deci-
sion, to be really focused and targeted in
the efforts and not simply spread out the
linuted resources that we have."
Paul Wedel, executive director ofKIAsia
wbo is organizing the program with
Kasarda, had assessment teams in the
affected areas soon after the relief work was
Lmder way to identify the greatest nud-
term and long-term needs.
The program aims to strengthen the
selected area's education system by focusing
on English skills, science and math, infor-
mation technology, cultUIal arts and youth
Business people in the conununity will
receive entrepreneurship and business train-
ing, access to capital for rebuilding and
restarting their businesses and training in
developing revenue-generating skills.
Many of these were small tou
When the tsunami came
e right on the coast
terally wiped them out
The plan also looks to reshape the com-
munity by facilitating physical reconstruc-
tion of housing, businesses and community
facilities, improving the local economy,
developing COI1U11Llnity leadership skills and
dealing with social problems, all while pre-
serving and improving the environment.
"This is hands-on,"Wedel said. "The
Kenan Institute Asia has already invested
$150,000 to get it started, and substantially
more is on the way."
The proposal states that the Kenan
Institute will invest $250,000, and the
Kenan trust has conmutted $750,000 over
three years. Kasarda say he hopes to raise
the other $1 million through contributions
frOI11 private-sector organizations such as
Microsoft and American Express.
But whether the funding comes,
Kasarda says he plans to press on with the
recovery, as former U.S. Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger and two-time former Thai
Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun already
have pledged their support.
"That's the difference berween UNC
and other places;' Kasarda said."They're
just giving money. We're doing something
and really rebuilding people's lives and
cOlmllunities after the umllediate needs
have been l11.et by relief organizations."
that are involved in major recovery efforts,
particularly following a disaster of this
nature," he said. "And they will happen
again. This is not the last of the great natu-
UNC students and faculty in Thailand
will train and educate members of the cho-
sen community directly, putting ulto action
skills honed in their classes. What students
and faculty learn while they're teaching
will be introduced back into the classroom.
"The lessons learned by the faculty will
be incorporated into the classrooms,"
Kasarda said. "The student experience will
be conveyed to their peers. The classroom
and research will certainly benefit."
UNe's alumni and friends can help out,
"We have one alunmus ... in Florida
that is working to bring together the
knowledge and expertise of his housing
development experience," Kasarda said. "He
will be going over tbere to work witb the
government and the nUlitary and others.
"That's just one exanlple. Successful
entrepreneurs and business people can go
over as volunteers to work with rebuilding
the businesses and working with people who
have lost them. There are many other ways,
too.All they have to do is contact me." .lDI.
Kasarda knows the plan is ambitious.
"We hope to create the leadirlg model
of COI1U11Llnity recovery from disasters that
will be drawn on by the United Nations,
the World Bank and sUlular organizations
a student intern. with.
Kel1an Institute's tsunami recovery initiative
in this issue
article text for page
< previous story
next story >
Share this page with a friend
Save to “My Stuff”
Subscribe to this magazine