Nepal Earthquake – lending a hand (part 1)

#1 On the evening of day #3 (and repeated on day #4), with my guests safely at the airport awaiting flights, I was able to start lending a hand. But where to start and be helpful without getting in the way? Luckily for me, some of my friends had already been out and about scouting for somewhere which might appreciate support and they had happened across BIR hospital. Here an amazing team of volunteers were already working around the clock to provide additional support to patients and medical staff given the massively increased work load. We were able to support for just a few hours by delivering food to patients, distributing blankets and making bandages. As fellow VSO volunteer Willemijn had already cooked up a sizeable pot of rice and vegetables we were also able to distribute that to some of the patient’s family members and people who were sleeping in the hospital grounds for safety;

1 hospital

#2 On day #5 I luckily discovered the Himalayan Disaster Relief Volunteer Group for the first time at the Yellow House. After a large scale, general project and volunteer meeting we joined a group heading to the nearby district of Kavre to help asses the needs of some badly damaged villages. Our journey took us past some of the most dramatically damaged road sections in the valley – these two lanes used to be on the same level;

1 road

#3 The damage to virtually every family’s home in the villages was plain to see;

2 IMGP5881 (2)

#4 Essentially none of the traditional houses had survived unscathed;

3 kavre

#5 Here is an example of one of the temporary shelters already set up and kitted out. The resilience of the people we met was repeatedly astounding and humbling. However, with limited resources available they were generally staying very tightly packed in under these shelters so the team reviewed how many additional tarps and blankets it might be possible to provide to make the temporary living arrangements more acceptable;

4 IMGP5941 (2)

#6 On day #6 a smaller group of us returned to Kavre and travelled further to reach more villages and continue to assess the status and needs. In one village, Naichal, we happened across a group of the locals who had already walked down from their village to the nearest road to collect and share out available food rations. We were able to discuss with them the situation in their village, situated higher up the hill, where many houses had been destroyed but the villagers had built communal temporary shelters so everyone was under cover. I was so impressed by the way this community had come together and was working as a single team to overcome the impact of the earthquake. Other villages that we came through had not taken such a cohesive approach and were also generally finding it harder to cope;

5 organisation

#7 On day #7, a plea for help in rural Dhading on the board at the Yellow House caught my fellow VSO volunteer Willemijn’s eye as she had spent 1 1/2 years working in the district as a community mobiliser for the Sisters for Sisters, girls education project. The organisation of our aid mission to Dhading ensued;

2 yellow house

#8 More on the Dhading mission is covered in previous posts A, B & C. Here are some pictures of us loading the truck with supplies on day #8 (to make sure there are some photos of my on here!?)

3 loading

Whilst the team were braving the trek up into rural Dhading I was still keeping myself busy in Kathmandu…

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3 comments

  1. Steve

    We will be in Nepal in October. How can we get involved?

    Steve

  2. Ashlie Broadley

    I’m very interested in going some volunteering .

  3. Hey, great that people are keen to help Nepal. If you are coming to Nepal and want to volunteer my advice would be to search websites and Facebook etc. for organisations working here and any projects they have planned. Get in touch before you travel and see how you can volunteer / collaborate with them specifically. This should ensure as fulfilling and worthwhile experience as possible. If you’re a professional with experience and skills to share perhaps check out VSO’s website http://www.vsointernational.org/ for opportunities. Alternatively, another genuine way to help is to come to one of the non-affected areas of the country (there are MANY) and simply go trekking/sightseeing/staying in hotels/eating in restaurants/generally putting money into the economy through tourism.The country is still beautiful, the people are still amazing, you will love it for sure! And last but by no means least, if you can’t travel – fundraise and send your pennies instead. every little counts! Thanks Jessica

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