A Message from Peter Dybing on Japan Earthquake

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  March 11, 2011 — 17 Comments

Peter Dybing, National First Officer, Covenant of the Goddess, who has participated in hands-on activism in places like earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince in Haiti, and in clean-up efforts on the Gulf Coast in the wake of the massive oil spill there, has sent out a brief message regarding sending assistance in the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami.

As disaster strikes again let me take this opportunity to remind the Pagan community of the lessons we learned when Haiti was severely damaged over a year ago.

Pagans from around the US and the world focused their giving on a small NGO that had operations established in Haiti and were able to respond quickly with established infrastructure and save lives.  Dollars raised from our community went directly to the purchase of medical supplies.  This emphasis on direct giving to a small organization ensured that our giving was focused and effective.

As we all witness the destruction in Japan, it is important to not make rash decisions and provide funding to organizations with poor track records of delivering services and use of funds. .  I am urging the community to be wise in their giving. Yes, commit your self to an amount you are willing to give, set these funds aside, but wait until you or others identify an effective use for these funds.

Many of the large NGO’s that collected tens of millions for Haiti relief have yet to spend but a fraction of what they collected more than a year later.  Both myself and other members of the community are attempting to establish ties with small organizations providing services in Japan.  Hopefully our community will be able to identify groups who will directly serve the affected communities as they receive funding.

It was my privilege to witness funds raised by the Pagan community save many lives in Haiti, may we be as wise and effective as we respond to this current crisis.

In Service to the Goddess and all humanity,

Peter Dybing, National First Officer, Covenant of the Goddess

Many of us want to show solidarity with the people of Japan in this time of trial, but let’s be sure that any fiscal donation is going directly towards constructive, and ideally, Japanese-led service-oriented initiatives. I’m currently awaiting recommendations from a few different sources, and will post them here as I receive them. For now, you can receive basic information at the evolving Wikipedia page, and some resources at the Google Crisis Response page.

ADDENDUM: Peter Dybing has some recommended giving resources up now at his blog.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Elise

    Thank you for posting this. My husband, a Pagan like myself, is a US Marine stationed in Okinawa. Although Okinawa was not hit this time, my heart is breaking to pieces over this tragedy. My time in Japan was amazing, and the Japanese people are the nicest, sweetest people I've literally ever met – I've lived in three countries, visited four continents, countless small and large countries alike, and no one has been nicer to me than the people of Japan. The country itself is so astonishingly beautiful it just breaks my heart at the thought of this country being devastated, and so many innocent people killed. Houses being swept across highways…the thought is just so mind-numbing.

    • caraschulz


      Let me take this time to thank you and your husband. As a member of the US Military, I'm sure he will be assisting with the rescue/assistance effort in Japan.

      • Elise

        Thank you very much. When earthquakes and tsunamis have hit in the past, he was always one of the first people in his flack and Kevlar. He's a military police officer so he plays an even greater roll during times of crisis, and he's proud of every moment of it.

    • Semper Fi! My father, my brother, and I are in solidarity with you and your devil-dog – knowing the Marines, he'll be in action soon enough doing what it takes to help the Okinawans and Japanese recover.

  • Be nice if we had the organization (like the main stream religions) to funnel money where it is needed.

    Thanks to the high stranded in the Japanese building codes there could have been a larger loss of life. I'm sure all our hearts go out to the people left injured, displaced and deprived of loved ones.

    • Jaclyn Desiree Arceneaux

      I think you mean, "Had it not been for the high standards set in Japanese building codes, there would have been a larger loss of life."

  • Will Mr. Dybing's suggested charities be posted here in the comments section, or at the end of this article? Or will they appear in a later post? I don't want to miss the call to action when it comes up – is there a way we can subscribe to be notified when a path forward appears?

    • Peter Dybing

      I am currently working on this.

      • Thanks

      • Thank you for putting this together so we can be informed in our work.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    I wish Dybing's distinction between large/slow and small/effective charitable NGOs on the ground had more press. If lots of people start directing their philanthropy along such lines, the dinosaur NGOs may clean up their act.

  • Bookhousegal

    Considering the epic scale of this disaster, it seems that where they've blended old ways and new is why there still *is* a Japan, to speak of.

  • Wendy Griffin

    Nikki Bado (Fralich), from Cherry Hill Seminary and the AAR's Contemporary Pagan Studies Group, emails from her sabbatical in Japan that she is safe.

  • Stef

    The NGO Mercy Corps is working through its Japanese partner, Peace Wings, to deliver aid. I have given to Mercy Corps in the past, and am satisfied with their efficient, secular service model. Good folks.

  • Very well said!

  • Seraphimia Nightshade

    Shelter Box are already there and of course providing much needed shelter: http://www.shelterbox.org/