Relief to NEPAL (4-25 earthquake)
Details about the earthquake have not been substantial; according to initial reports, more than 700 have died. We will keep updating as news roll in.
The amount collected will be used directly in providing relief to those affected by the quake. We will be returning to Nepal in less than two weeks and will work with local organizations in the relief process. We will use the money to provide food, clean water, and shelter to the victims. We will create a Facebook page for the campaign, and once we get to Nepal and start working on the relief process, we will post the updates and pictures through the Facebook page; we will also provide details on how the money is being used.
People who have questions may contact us through Facebook at Facebook.com/suman.bajgain.739
Pratikshya Sharma & Suman Bajgain; Class of 2018,
Abhishek Upadhyaya Ghimire, Class of 2016,
Laxmi Rajak; Class of 2015,
After getting delayed a few days due to the shortage of corrugated zinc tins (which will be used as roofs for the shelters we plan to help the villagers build) , we will finally be embarking on our trip to an affected village tomorrow with zinc roofs. One of our teammates, Pratikshya, was able to procure 140 bundles of zinc tins for our Gorkha mission, and 12 bundles for our Kritipur mission. Kritipur (not to be confused with the town of Kirtipur in Kathmandu valley) is a small hilly village in Nawalparasi district. We will be distributing the zinc roofs there tomorrow. We will post photos of the campaign on our Facebook page (link attached at the end of this update) after our team returns from the trip.
Until today, we had not been able to find the zinc tins required for our planned Nuwakot campaign. However, through one of our volunteers, this afternoon we were able to contact a dealer who is willing to supply us the zinc roofs from India. So, we will be embarking on our Nuwakot trip around this Saturday. Before that, we will also make the Gorkha trip on Thursday.
We will post new updates as they roll in. We will also post the receipts of our transactions (also through our Facebook page) once we make all the purchase.
Thanks a lot for your support.
Here is the link to the Facebook page through which we will post photos/receipts from our campaigns:
I arrived Nepal on the night of May 5th. Since then, my mother and I have been living at our uncle’s. The building that my family lived in had cracks at the base, and because government had issued a warning not to live on cracked building without having them inspected by a government-approved engineer, we have not been able to return to our flat.
My teammate Pratiksha arrived Nepal on May 7th. Because she is from Nawalparasi, a district in southern Nepal, she used to live at an uncle’s whenever she was in Kathmandu. However, because of the fear of earthquakes, like more than half of Kathmandu’s population, her uncle’s family had already left Kathmandu, so she had to go directly to her hometown in Nawalparasi.
Since I arrived Nepal, we have been trying to organize a mission to Nuwakot, a district north-west of Kathmandu, as our group’s first relief effort. I had talked to a few Nuwakot locals and learnt from them that the main problem people were facing right now was that of finding a shelter; people had somehow been able to salvage some of their grains from the rubbles of their houses, so food is not the main issue at the moment.
We had planned to organize a trip to a village in Thansing VDC* of Nuwakot, to teach people how to build durable shelters and provide them with materials (tin roofs, iron-steel pipes, transparent plastic, metal wires and etcetera) required to build their own durable shelters. The reason we focused on building shelters and not on distributing tarp tents is the imminence of monsoon. Even though monsoon has not started yet, it has rained heavily a few times since I arrived here. Reports from the locals of Nuwakot (and from my own experience with recent rains) have made me realize that the tents that are being distributed are not able to keep the families safe from rain. Once the monsoon starts, the situation will get worse as severe winds and hailstorms will accompany the rains. So keeping that in mind, we decided to direct our efforts to providing durable shelters that can withstand monsoon rather than distribute tents. Because rain roils the water in rivers and reservoirs, we also plan to provide families with Piyush, a chlorine based water disinfectant. Because people have been forced to live in unhygienic conditions, we will also be distributing mosquito coils and oral rehydration solutions (such as Jiwan Jal) that help control diarrhoea.
After Nuwakot, on May 15th we had planned to go to Gorkha, another district north-west of Kathmandu, to organize a similar campaign. Because the village we plan to help does not have roads that can support heavy vehicles, the village will not be accessible to our trucks that will be carrying the building materials. So we plan to inform the villagers beforehand of our arrival and ask them to come to Khaireni, a town an hour down the hilly village, to collect the materials. Then we will walk with them to the village and help them build the shelters.
The shelter we plan to build is based on the model suggested by Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FNCCI) Operation Relief. Towards the end of this update, I will post a link to the YouTube video that shows how the shelter will be built. The shelter we will be building will be a little different from the one in the video since ours will also include walls made out of wooden planks. While we cannot predict the exact cost of each of these shelter units until we have built them, we estimate that building each unit will cost approximately $140. We will include the distribution of the cost of the materials required in building the shelters and other costs associated with the mission after the conclusion of our mission.
We had initially planned to travel to Nuwakot on May 13th. To meet this date, with a few volunteers, I was wandering about the markets of Kathmandu on May 12th trying to find a dealer that could provide us the voluminous supplies of tin roofs and pipes that our Nuwakot mission needed. However, when we were at a dealer’s in Balaju Chowk, a new earthquake of magnitude 7.3 shook Nepal. Everyone started running out of their houses and into the streets. Shops closed and the market shut down almost instantly. The police soon shut down the roads where houses had fallen. The volunteers who were accompanying me were worried about the safety of their families, and since they could not reach their families through phone, they had no choice but to return to their houses. Since the market was shut down, I too had to return to my uncle’s.
So for now, our planned mission to Nuwakot has been postponed by a few days. We will post an update once we decide on a new date for the campaign. However, because we had planned to purchase the materials for our Gorkha campaign outside of Kathmandu, we will still be able to carry out our Gorkha campaign on time. Hence, we will be leaving for Gorkha tomorrow (May 15th), and will make the Nuwakot trip after we return.
Finally, I would like to apologize for not being able to post an update since I arrived Nepal. I did not have internet access on my PC until a few days back. Even though now I have an internet connection, the internet here is very patchy. Moreover, power cuts are very common. And because of fear of earthquakes, we do not spend much time inside houses. Because of all these, working on a computer is very hard here. However, I will try my best to post updates regularly.
*A VDC, Village Development Committee, is the penultimate level of government in Nepali administrative system.
Link to the aforementioned video:
Link to the Facebook page where we will post photos and videos from our mission:
A very useful article for those who want to help Nepal:
We are now nearing the final stretch of our campaign. I will be leaving for Nepal this Sunday and will work there on the field myself. Pratikshya, my teammate, will join me a few days later and we will start posting updates about the work we are doing and will also give details on how the fund is being used.
There are a few things I want to talk about in this update.
1) Recently, I have received many emails and facebook messages from people who want to donate or volunteer. As was recently shown to me by one of our very kind donors, there are many ways to help other than donating money or offering to volunteer. A few day ago, someone emailed me asking if we could find flight sponsors for a team of medical personnel wanting to volunteer in Nepal. Then, two days back, one of our donors, who was unaware of the prior's request, emailed me saying he wanted to donate his Delta Airline skymiles. After a quick research, he found out that his skymiles could be used to purchase 3 return tickets to Delhi (Delhi is 1.5 flight hours away from Kathmandu). So now, I am trying to connect this medical team with our skymiles donor. This has showed to me that our campaign has grown from being just a fund raiser to a platform where people who are looking to help Nepal can connect. Therefore, I would like to request our donors/page-visitors to see if there is anyone around you who is willing to donate their skymiles, or can sponsor tickets to skilled volunteers who have been emailing us. Once we have donors who are willing to sponsor flights, I will post an update offering to connect these sponsors with potential skilled volunteers.
2) Students at UNC, Duke, and NC State are organizing a vigil for the earthquake victims at Duke Chapel tomorrow (Friday) evening. If you live around the region and would like to join, please be there by 7 pm. Here is the event description:
3) Since I will be in Nepal in less than a week, if you have any one you want me to check on, I will be more than happy to oblige. Please email me through our GoFundMe contact or through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/suman.bajgain.739
4) If any one is leaving for Nepal soon or knows of someone who already is in Nepal to volunteer but needs some orientation on what they can do and how best to help, I can help them connect to an organization that is orienting/guiding foreign volunteers.
5) We are on our way to meeting our final goal of $30,000. It would be really great if we could meet it before I leave for Nepal this Sunday. So if you think people in your social space or mailing lists might be interested in our cause, please help us spread the word.
Moreover, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone for their generous support and willingness to help Nepal. Thank you for keeping Nepal in your heart.
ON ABOUT MEDIA COVERAGE:
Our campaign has also received some local media coverage. Here are the links to the stories:
Thank you all for your continued support. Because of your generous support, we we have surpassed our initial goal of $15,000 and now have raised our goal to $25,000.
According to UN, the devastating earthquake and its aftershocks have affected more than 8 million. The number of people who have lost their lives has soared above 4,000 with the prime minister predicting it could go above 10,000, while more than 8,000 have been reported injured. As more ruble are dug out, these figures are bound to increase substantially. The ones who were rescued and the ones who were fortunate enough to escape the earthquake have been living either in tents or under open skies. The fear of aftershocks is still in people's minds. Prices of food and water have skyrocketed. Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of patients. However, there have been signs of hope. Telecom companies have made calls free; some private hospitals have started providing free treatment; many restaurants are offering free food whenever possible, and the number of domestic and international rescue-volunteers is increasing exponentially with each day. All this has shown to us we are not alone in this. Messages from our donors like, "Nepal is in our heart," "You will bounce back," "We will always be there for you," and "America cares" have encouraged us a lot and have given us confidence that our campaign will succeed in helping many lives.
Thank you all for your generous support and your very kind words. It is because of you that our campaign got featured in GoFundMe's recent email about Nepal relief campaigns. According to that email, our campaign might have grown to being among the largest Nepal relief campaigns in this website. Thank you so much; please keep on spreading the word.
Our minds are still "blown away" when thinking about all that the people of Nepal are having to endure right now. It's a shame that the life cycle of the earth requires tragedies such as this to get us all back on track as one people . . . here to help each other. Our prayers continue to go to a loving God who cares about all of us. He doesn't want anyone to have to go through this, but is holding hands with all of the hurt, grieving and displaced. Please let us know of anything specific that we can do to make things a little easier for you on the front lines. Steve
thank`s for sharing... great post! togel singapura
Hello and our hearts go out to all of the people of Nepal - my son has a ticket booked for Nepal July 7th - as he was planning a trip. He would very much like to assist in any way if he can. You mentioned an organisation he could link up with that accepts foreign volunteers - please could you let us know if he could do so or if he needs to have specialist training to be of help.