Grassroots Aid for Tsunami Victims

Niaz Dorry

Niaz Dorry helped spread the word about the plight of Sri Lankan fishing communities. Lysa Leland hide caption

itoggle caption Lysa Leland
John Bosco amid rubble in Sri Lanka village.

John Bosco is among the fisherman along Sri Lanka's northern coast who were affected by the tsunami. He lost his brother, grandparents and boat to the killer waves. Anne Hawke, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anne Hawke, NPR

As millions of dollars flow into aid organizations helping the victims of the tsunami, newspapers and Web sites continue to list mostly the largest and most reputable relief organizations.

But some people have begun to suggest donations to smaller, indigenous grassroots organizations. NPR's Margot Adler reports.

One e-mail making the rounds comes from Niaz Dorry, who calls herself a freelance activist. Once employed by Greenpeace, she's has spent the last 10 years working out of Gloucester, Mass., with small fishing communities, including many that were slammed by the Dec. 26 tsunami in Sri Lanka.

"I felt I had an opportunity to give to someone who I knew the face of," Dorry says.

She entered into an agreement with the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance to set up a bank account with a credit union in Maine. From there, money would go directly to fishing villages in Sri Lanka.

Within a week of the e-mail she had raised more than $12,000. And she began to hear from fishing groups from all over the place that wanted to help.

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