Nepal

Posted by Helen 
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If you are also in the habit of checking out Helping Elsewhere’s Facebook page (facebook.com/HelpingElsewhere) you will know that as well as goods from around India, we also import things for our shops (in Cobblestone Walk, Steyning and the newly opened one in The Needlemakers in Lewes) from Nepal – and have good trading relationships with three Nepalese families.

So you can image our utter shock and dismay to see news of the recent terrible earthquake near Kathmandu. It took us a week to hear that our guys, their families and their craftsmen had all escaped with their health intact, but the same could not be said for their homes and businesses.

We had friends coincidentally in Nepal and, true to form, they just pitched in to help. Helen and Terry are a nurse and a paramedic and they just set to work in a hospital, turned aid workers in the surrounding villages and set about raising funds as well. We raised funds in our shops and Helen and Terry’s Birmingham friends poured money into one of our nominated bank accounts. We sent well over £1500 for ’emergency’ aid.

But now our thoughts turn to rebuilding lives. One of the Nepalese guys we import from, Kushal Gurung, has been raising funds to rebuild his home village (Dharadhuri, Semjong, Dhading if you want to find it on Google Maps). Of the 165 homes there, 80% were destroyed and the other 20% were severely damaged. They are going to rebuild after the monsoon rains have finished and until then they will sleep under ‘zinc, bamboo and plastics’. The health centre and village school were also severely damaged – made of mud and stone they didn’t stand a chance.

Dharadhuri with its school marked

Dharadhuri with its school marked

So we have agreed to help reconstruct and reequip the school as part of their efforts to rebuild their lives.

The school before and after

The school before and after

As a start, we’ve introduced a voluntary surcharge of two or three pounds on all our shops’ Nepalese goods, and already people are leaving £5 or £10 instead! We’re actively planning more fundraising events too.

And the most pleasant surprise? We have actually just received a shipment of yak wool blankets and shawls from Nepal! In all their troubles, they still wanted to honour their contracts!

 

2 Responses to “Nepal”

  1. Claire says, May 24th, 2015 at 23:33

    Hand of Hope via Joyce Meyer is out there helping too…
    Praying for all those affected..

    Claire and Roger

  2. Diana Boulter says, May 27th, 2015 at 13:45

    All power to you, Helen and Colin, and your teams of friends and helpers. Excellent, practical and real help from you, as always, for people in huge need. I’ll get to Steyning soon and see what we can do to help. Love from Diana x

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