CASD-Nepal Earthquake relief fund
Who am I: My name is Rick Chong. I live in Brunswick, Australia. Professionally I worked in the Australian military as a paratrooper and also for the Victorian State Emergency Services with experience in search and rescue and natural disaster first responder.
In 2008 I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Nepal and work with the staff and children of Shining Star Children's Home (SSCH Nepal), located severl hours drive outside Kathmandu. In the three months I was there I have grown fond of all the staff and bonded with the children which whom I am still in daily contact with today.
Over the years I have continued my fund raising efforts to support their community projects and fostered a friendship with many of the older kids and staff.
No Doubt you will have heard by now of the devistating earthquake that has rocked the country resulting in over a thousand deaths and leaving scores more injured, homeless and desperate.
My heart aches with sadness and regrets as I am still unsure of the status of all my friends there in Nepal.
Please help, I beg you. Every dollar counts. No gift is too small or too big. Please rally your friends and family to get involved. We need water and blood donations above all else right now, and we need money to rebuild.
I was scheduled to return to Neapl in December to document a clean water project in Khairani Village, it would appear now that our priorities have changed. I will now return to Nepal on the 11th May on the invitation of CASD Nepal to assist in the relief effort.
Thank you for your support and donation.
You will find it here at
Thank you all for your support and please do fell free to contact me directly if you are interested in knowing about how we spend your money, what projects we are currently running or just to talk about the conditions currently in Nepal. I welcome your friendship and your support.
Reuben Harcourt our NZ ambassador has bought and distributed 23 tonnes of emergency food, basic supplies and basic med supplies.
80+ new mother & infant care package
170 tin sheets
70 mosquito nets
Benjamin Cumbie and Sean Robison Our US Ambassador has purchased material and built 24 shelters with 3 in the pipeline and 9 more have been requested once findings are sent through
Our psychosocial team Ioanna Seitanidu John Page & Becki Rose deployed with us and engaged with the local community and donated over $1000 worth of camping equipment to our field team.
And Rick chong have bought and distributed 2 weeks worth of food for 167 households. Purchased equipment and supplies for the mobile education program
And donated a moderate amount of medical supplies to a local medical aid post.
We do not work our projects alone. We often work cross project and assist each other in our respective projects, both in the planning phase and in the field.
28 May 2015
22 May. Deploy to Kharani village to survey the location in preparation for the commencement of the pipeline building.
There were minor complications as local members form the village were showing signs of distrust towards us and their elected leadres, fearing the funds allocated for the water project will be funneled away for the relief efforts. Our team had to journey and trek over 10hrs into the area of operation to facilitate a diplomatic solution. After listening to their concerns, our team consisting of 2 engineers, CASD director and myself spoke to ask for calm. A solution was agreed upon and work will commence in four months time.
26th May. CASD Ambassadors Rick Chong(Aust) and Nicole Mason (USA) attended 2 days of Trauma Counselling
Attendees included heads of other NGOs, social group leaders, Psyc Students, and media personality/ TV presenter.
27 May. Distribution of 75 mosquito nets and 170 tin sheets for shelter constructions in Sindhulpalchok Dsitrict, Thokarpa VDC.
28 May US Ambassador Nicole Mason and Psych Team (Jonathan, Rebecca, Jasmine, Jana) departs Nepal.
30 May. Mother & newborn care package to be distributed in Devichour, Battedand and Bhardeu, Lalitpur District
Mother & newborn care package initiative was a direct request from the Women and Children Development Office in Kathmandu and is being funded and facilitated by CASD Nepal
Much has happened since the last update. I feel like i have been bouncing from one meeting to the next. The Synergy from the group is starting to dissipate as most of the team has returned to their respective countries but yet there are so much work to be done.
Today I met with a Canadian journalist who is interested in Nepal from a different angel. She wants to write about the small victories and about the resilience to the Nepali people. I will be taking her with us out on our next field operation in 2 days.
We are receiving a lot of interest from many different countries and people are keen to come lend a hand as well as donate money to help in the relief effort.
The work here is enormous and there is no end in sight. I don't know how other folks handle it here, but me i celebrate whatever small victories I'm granted. I'm too scared to look at the bigger picture because I'd be overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. So i am blessed to be ignorant of that fact.
I'm mentally exhausted but my spirit remains high. I can't sit for more then 2 min without falling asleep... or Maybe I'm just experiencing the onset of senility.
My teammates have all left. Now is just me and Prakash and Hari. The amazing synergy i felt 2 weeks ago when we were running a full team is now slowly dissipating. However there is still work to be done and I'm nowhere near dead just yet.
I'll be heading out field again tomorrow to facilitate the distributing of new mother and infant care package.
I'd like to thank you all for your support and encouragement. Your donations and your hard work to share what we do with the world. And I'd like to throw a special shot out to the following people Benjamin Cumbie Nicole Mason Sean Robison Becki Rose Ioanna Seitanidu John Page and Reuben Harcourt for being the best team mates anyone can ask for. When i wad a soldier i had Brothers in Arms whose trust in one another is unparalleled, until now. You guys are some of the smoothest operators I've ever had the honour of working with. Thank you for the life lessons and for teaching me patience and compassion in the face of adversity.
And finally my biggest Thanks goes to Marjorie Hau my life partner, my 1-woman-cheersquad, my rear eschelon quarter master. My love, you drive and inspire me to be better then i was yesterday, everyday.
You give meaning to all that i do here. Thank you for being my compass point guiding me home.
Fresh quake rattles country (7.4 Richter scale)
61 dead, 1200 hurt
People leave houses to camp in open fields, again.
High-rises, residential houses further affected
Landslides obstruct Araniko, Pasang Lhamu highways
US Air Force Osprey chopper helicopter missing in Charikot ,Dolakha District. The aircraft and crew have since been recovered.
Earthquake triggers landslide at Araniko highway
Prime Minister of Nepal appeals for restraint and calm
A fresh jolt that struck the country on Tuesday claimed 61 lives
In Dolakha five people are believed to have been buried under the rubble of Paradise Hotel. Security personnel dug out two bodies from the site and three injured from the rubble of the Araniko bank, the quake has affected most of the buildings located in Charighyang and Saatdobato. Major roads linked with the district headquarters have got cracks. According to locals, some are feared to have been buried in landslides triggered by the quake. Locals at the district headquarters and surrounding areas have started living under tents. The Barda Bahadur battalion of Nepal Army has put up tents at 11 locations.
In Sindhupalchok, according to police report 11 people died and more than 100 were injured, Two motorcycles were reportedly buried in landslides. Vehicular movement on the Tatopani-Barhabise section has halted due to landslides.
Some of the injured in Ramechhap have been ferried to medical facilities in the Capital. In Sarhlahi, two deaths were caused by a stampede. the quake has triggered avalanches in multiple locations.
Scores of homes that survived the initial earthquake on the 25th April were destroyed by the massive aftershock that followed. Locals who had just started entering their houses were forced to return to makeshift shelters.
In Itahari, a woman died and three people were injured. Industries in the Sunsari-Morang corridor, along with department stores, have been shut. In Chitwan, 12 injured are being treated at Chitwan Medical College and Bharatpur Hospital. The Narayangadh-Mugling road stretch was closed briefly owing to landslides in Kali Khola.
Police said five injured were referred from Makwanpur to hospitals in Bharatpur and Kathmandu
Incident report of Earthquake 2015 (As of May 12th):
Total toll: 8,219
Government buildings fully destroyed: 10,790
Government buildings partially destroyed: 14,997
Public house fully destroyed: 288,798
Public house partially destroyed: 254,112
People displaced/affected: 4.15 million
In response to the disaster, CASD Nepal in partnership with Solve Nepal Implemented Earthquake disaster response with basic food and supplies delivery to Malta village and Bhardeu Village.
items included: Tarp for temp shelter, blankets, buckets and food supply
CASD Nepal team is working hard to respond to the event.
We thank you very much for your generous support. Non of this is possible without your help.
CASD Nepal operational timeline:
28 April CASD director meets with government officials to plan relief operation
3 May Food distribution to 167 household in Malta and Bhardeu Village
7 May. CASD international team arrives in Kathmandu from Australia and USA
9 May team deployed to Ghusel to commence building semi permanent shelters.
12 May. Meeting with govt officials and local council members
13 May. Team deployed to Malta Village to coordinate distribution of supplies and food.
14 May. A team of trauma councilor deployed in tandem to engage with the women and children in the village. Signs of post traumatic stress disorder has been identified in several children in the village. Most under the age of 10.
22 May. Deploy to Kharani village to survey the location in preparation for the commencement of the pipeline building.
We hit the ground running and have made good progress in our field phase of the operation. We are exhausted but our spirits are high. We have a strong team of highly motivated individuals with a fierce passion for this country and it's people. We work very well with one another and bring with us different skill sets and characteristics that complement the team perfectly. I am truly blessed to have such a dream team to work with.
We are still feeling aftershocks almost daily and we've witnessed numerous landslides out in the villages, some that were big enough to wipe out entire sections of roads. Everywhere you go you see signs of destructions, from broken homes to entire towns and villages wiped off and fresh scars on mountain faces caused by landslides that cleared off entire segments of vegetation. Boulders ranging in size from footballs to buses litter the mountain pass. Noting and no one is spared the wrath of the April quake.
While some semblance of normality is slowly returning to the capital city of Kathmandu, most restaurants and cafe remain closed. The cost of supplies are sky rocketing and tension remains high as we get constant alert of yet another massive aftershock to follow (watch this space).
I sleep fully dressed despite the heat with my go bag within arms reach. I'm constantly mentally going over my 'Actions on' and SOPs in preparation for the next aftershock. Sleep is a commodity I don't get much of as I am constantly woken by minor tremors most nights. We work hard, sleep in tents or in the open, cook our meager meals over a wood fire we make ourselves and sometimes run out of mission critical supplies (like drinking water), but despite all this, my team and I are always itching to return to the field after just one day back in the capital. There is much work to do and there is no end in sight and Will continue to pour all our strength and energy into this mission until our time is up, one way or another.
Thank you all. It warms my heart to see so much support from friends, family and folks i do not yet know. I'll be detailing the breakdown of how the funds are approappropriated soon as i get an idea of where the funds are most needed. Thank you one and all.