Nepal Earthquake Fund -Med Students

$20,181 of $50k goal

Raised by 285 people in 24 months
Ramu Kharel  DALLAS, TX
Dear potential donor, 

As you might know, Nepal was hit by some bad series of earthquakes from April 25th through May 12th. There continue to be minor shakes that are still happening. I am reaching out to you today as someone who wants to help rebuild some of the villages that have been severely hit. I am not thinking about short term relief but about long term, once the initial excitement and help leaves the country. I really appreciate your taking time to read this email and consider helping, but I know you might not have time to read long emails. If you are one of those people, you can just read the bolded part to get the overview.

Till this date (June 12th, 2015), there continue to be many villages and small communities that have not gotten any relief help. For instance, there is a isolated village named Ghumarchowk just 20 miles outside of Kathmandu. It is a small village of about 400 homes, high atop a mountain overlooking the Sankhu valley, which can only be reached by foot or by motorcycle. A group of UT Southwestern students, led by myself, have been identifying and addressing health needs of Ghumarchowk for the past several years.  In partnership with an Austin-based philanthropic organization called the Hem Sarita Pathak Foundation(HSPF), UTSW students have worked to address health and education needs.  Early after the earthquake, I received reports that half of the homes had been lost.  The position of the village on a steep mountainside combined with the rain and continued earthquakes over the last several days have continued to wreak havoc, however.  I now know that about 390 houses are not habitable out of the 415 houses in the village.  The villagers are now sleeping, cooking, and living in the fields in spite of the rain, living in constant fear that the tremors will continue and trigger a mudslide. Some medical personnels I had partnered in the past with helped this village with initial medical relief. I have reports from the country that more than 39 districts out of 75 districts have been severely affected.  Another example of similar village is of a place called Lamatar village which is about 25 km southeast of Kathmandu. I have attached a survey I had my volunteers in Nepal do at this place. You can get an idea of what an affected village around this area might look like. Nepal is the size of Texas in terms of population. Imagine that more than 50 % of Texas was affected by a single natural disaster event. That's the kind of vast impact these series of earthquakes had in Nepal.

Unfortunately, It is impossible for large scale aid efforts to address the needs of every isolated location. Furthermore, a lot of funds get lost when it given through large scale aid organizations. Here is an example of WHO: "The red cross build exactly 6 houses for Haiti with nearly half a billion dollars":   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/04/red-cross-haiti-report_n_7511080.html  A small group of village leaders and teachers mobilized with support from the Hem Sarita Pathak Foundation to organize basic supplies (tents, water and food) to help these families to cope.  While meeting the acute needs will be a challenge that HSPF hopes to address and is addressing, I am raising funds to address the long-term rebuilding efforts for these villages and other surrounding villages.  My prior connection and understanding of Nepali villages, combined with the commitment to the village’s development, implores us to take whatever action we can. There will be much to do in the coming months and years.  New fresh water lines will have to be produced, safe community toilets will be needed to limit the spread of disease, and of course hundreds of homes will have to be rebuilt from nothing.  I am raising funds to help village leaderships address these long-term needs, especially the health ones.  As you might know, mansoon season has already started in Nepal and this means the chances of infections spreading is only going to increase through water-bourn infections. Furthermore, the now vulnerable land is more prone to landslides. There have been many landslides in the last few days in Nepal killing more than 40 people.

I will work continually with the Hem Sarita Pathak Foundation (a 501c non-profit), Nepal Teaching Hospital medical student volunteers, MBA students from Tribhuvan University and local volunteers that I trust from my previous involvement in the region. My team of volunteers along with the partnership of HCI (Himalayan Climate Initiative) have already gone to the village of Ghumarchowk and showed them how to build toilets. They built 4 toilets while teaching villagers how to build them.  They also left supplies for them to able to build these toilets. Not only will this allow the villagers to have toilets, it also empowers them to take care be able to take care of themselves. I have attached some pictures here from that as well. I plan on visiting most of the villages that have been severely affected by this earthquake in early August to do a needs-assessment in order to better understand and address the situation moving forward. 

I was myself born in a small village in Nepal called Aanpchour, not too far out of the epicenter of the first earthquake. I was 13 when I left my village to come to America. I understand the people in these villages; in fact, my lifelong goal has been to bring health care to every villages in Nepal. I want to assure that your donation will fully be used at the grassroots level to help the villages have a sustainable recovery. I am going to Harvard to get a public health degree starting late August this year. I will apply my findings from the needs assessment and your donation to build a long term recovery plan from some villages in Nepal. In this blog by our fellow medical student, Ryan McClaine, you will find more reassurances that your money will directly go to help villagers without any red-tape in the middle. You will also find more details about my efforts.   http://www.ryanmcclaine.com/2015/04/help-a-marginalized-nepali-village-rebuild/

I am writing to request your support to help me with the recovery processes, which might take years given the political, economic and health infrastructure instability of Nepal. $1 =102.6 rupees, so you know your money has a lot of value in Nepal. Please donate what you can. Additionally, please share it with your family and friends. Please help me advocate for villages like Ghumarchowk and Lamatar that have barely gotten any attention. If you have any questions, suggestions or other ideas to help, I am available through email (ramu.kharel@utsw.edu, or phone: 713-291-5087).  

Thank you for considering this, 
Ramu Kharel, MD/MPH Candidate 2017
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Update 32
Posted by Ramu Kharel
12 months ago
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Dear Donors and Friends,

I write to you on the 1st anniversary of the Nepal earthquake to extend my heartfelt thanks for your contribution last year. I am ever so grateful for your support and I look forward to working with you in the future. In the attached blog letter, I provide you with an update of our activities this year and plans going forward. I also give brief update on the status of the country and government activities in reconstruction and recovery. I look forward to hearing from you and answer any questions you might have. If you have ideas, criticisms, connections, ways to support in other ways, or any other input, please contact me.

https://hapsablog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/one-year-since-the-earth-shook-nepal/
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Update 31
Posted by Ramu Kharel
21 months ago
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Dear friends and donors,

I am writing to you from DFW airport leaving for Nepal in 20 minutes. I am going to Nepal for the next 10 days to do a health needs assessment in some of the worst hit earthquake areas. I will try to post updates from there as internet permits. If not, I post updates when I am back. Please send your support, prayers and thoughts. If you are in Nepal, please connect with me. You can call my cousin at 9841140403 and ask for me. Thank you.

Ramu Kharel
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Update 30
Posted by Ramu Kharel
22 months ago
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It has been a while since I post an update. Medical school is taking its toll, but I am almost done!!! I hope to travel to Nepal on August 6th for 1-2 weeks to do a preliminary needs assessment in some villages outside of Kathmandu. In the meantime, please share this link with your family and friends who are still looking to contribute. I am excited to see what we can do with all your support, especially for places that are still in need. Please don't hesitate to contact me.
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Update 29
Posted by Ramu Kharel
22 months ago
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Hi everyone,

I haven't sent an update in a long time. I have been busy learning how to deliver babies! It is the most amazing thing. My time to go to Nepal is coming near, I am planning to go in early August. I am so honored for all your support, but we haven't reached the goal yet. Earthquake aftermaths are beginning to unfold, and the recent landslides are an example. The already shaken land is much prone to landslides with rain. Please continue to pray for the Nepalese people and send us your support by donating and sharing this link.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/12/world/asia/nepal-suffers-deadly-landslides-caused-by-monsoon-rains.html
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$20,181 of $50k goal

Raised by 285 people in 24 months
Created April 25, 2015
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