Nepal Earthquake Relief outside KTM

$6,783 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 84 people in 33 months
As many of you know by now, Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015 at 11:56 NST. The 7.9 magnitude earthquake was very shallow, merely 9.3 miles below the surface, and caused overwhelming destruction to centuries old temples/buildings, infrastructure, and most importantly people’s lives. The death toll is at 8,000, with 18,000+ injuries and the numbers keep rising. The earthquake has displaced millions of people from their homes.

April 25, 2015
I found out about the earthquake at 04:00 EST on April 25th, and I spent an entire day trying to contact my family. Phone lines were broken, and even if they worked, everyone was outside on open grounds in a state of utter confusion. After a lot of failed Viber missed calls, my call got through and one of my cousins answered. He informed me that our family was safe and yet I wanted to hear each and every one of their voices for a personal sense of relief. The next day was spent on the phone as well, trying to get a hold of as many relatives as I could and check on how they were doing.

I don't think people in Kathmandu initially realized how horrific the earthquake was. There was no constant source of news, no electricity, no phones. People started getting a sense of the destruction that had happened once they took walks around town to see the extent of the damage. All the while outside of Nepal, we kept seeing more and more devastating photos and videos.

The number of aftershocks is already in the triple digits. When I talk to my family on the phone every evening, I get to hear "Oh I think that was another one again.” Nepali people are lighthearted and try to find the good in even the worst situations. My uncle jokes about how "Even the elderly ones with heart problems have a strong heart by now."

What is the progress with relief work?
A couple of days later when everyone decided to go back inside their houses, reality started sinking in. People are digging through rubble in Kathmandu, but not much help has reached outside of the valley. My father and some of his colleagues/team members went to a rural village not too far outside of KTM where relief material had not reached yet. They took enough supplies for 30 household/families. Due to budget constraints and availability of materials, they could not take tents with them during that trip. The villagers were asking if there were any tents available as they didn't have any roof over their and their livestock’s heads, and monsoon season has started trickling in.

It has been 11 days since the earthquake struck, and this is just an example of a remote village where no help has reached yet. The government fund channeling process is very slow, and people are losing their patience. Some have lost everything, and loved ones, yet the government has not been able to organize relief efforts in remote villages. While I know our Nepal government was ill prepared for such a catastrophic event, I would like to believe that they are doing what they can. What has become evident in the past week is that it is the combined efforts of the local people that has been able to supply help to the ones in need.

I will be on my way to Nepal in a couple of weeks, and I would like to help out when I get there. Although the initial relief effort with providing food and clean water might have died down a bit, there will be a second phase of necessities that will need to be fulfilled. Steve and I are also collecting medical supplies, so we can take those with us and dissipate those in health posts at villages where such supplies could be beneficial. For now, we are raising funds because logistically this is the best way to provide what is needed at a certain time point. We will be buying supplies locally, and taking a trip to places that still need our help with supplies and/or physical labor.

What you can do to help.
Please donate! No contribution is too big or small.
For a $1, you could provide 2-3 meals to a person.
For $10, you could provide them with food supplies and clothing.
For $50, you could provide them with a general health checkup and some medicines.

For most of you who know me, I am sure you have confidence in me and trust that the funds that I raise will be used for a good cause. For everyone else, I will be posting constant updates of the work we do once we get to Nepal.

Nepal is a beautiful place. We have always been tested to the extreme when it comes to courage and resilience. This is yet another adversity for us, and I know our people and the country will rise from this.

Thank you for your support. Please keep Nepal in mind when you think about your next vacation because the Himalayan kingdom really is very magical.

For Gofundme check point purposes:
1) Who you are, and where are you from: Rosha Poudyal, a graduate student at the University of Florida-College of Medicine. For more personal relation to this situation, read above story. 

2), and 3) Your relationship to the parties you're raising funds for, and 
how the funds will be spent (be specific as possible): My father and his colleagues helped out a small village in Sindhupalchowk district (see pictures below) but they were unable to supply tents and other long term necessities so this fund will be used for rebuilding the  community (tents for people and livestock, community out-house for proper sanitation and to avoid a disease epidemic, replenish medical supplies at health posts, etc.)   We will mostly likely go through his office route, just like they did ( Sapana Sahakari Sansthat) or via a local group.  

Here are some pictures that my father and his team took while they were on their short relief mission.









Below are some images I collected from various news corporations.









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Hello everyone,

Since our trip to Nepal two summers ago, we had not been able to go back to Harmi to look at the re-building of the school that everyone's donations had gone to. Luckily, Steve found a gentleman who is part of the Harmi school network and was able to send some recent pictures to us.

You can find more pictures and a short description on Stephen's personal website linked below.

Thanks to all once again!

http://www.stevechrzanowski.com/home/harmi-school-completed
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Update 4:
(Link to classrooms building for Harmi village school: http://imgur.com/a/c6l3X)

(Link to health post donation photo album: http://imgur.com/a/nlAO3)

Hello everyone!

Steve and I are back from our trip to Nepal, and would like to update you on our work there. After our relief mission work in Sindhupalchowk district with Impact Nepal foundation (update #3), where we distributed temporary shelter building materials to 450 houses, we went to Harmi village in Gorkha district. Harmi is geographically very close to Barpak (the epicenter of the first, April 25th earthquake), where around 80-90% of the buildings in were destroyed.

As you will see from the pictures, the school at Harmi was severely affected by the earthquake, with 17 out of 19 classrooms being destroyed. We joined efforts with another Nepali-American couple from Santa Fe, NM, and combined the funds we had collected in order to build three classrooms for the school. We decided to go with a prefab building as it seemed to be a more permanent solution for the village, and also a good choice for the particular geography.

Our team (myself, my father, Steve, the Nepali-American couple, and a few of my father's colleague from his work) made two separate trips to Harmi. The road to Harmi was one of the trickiest roads I had even been on. Monsoon season has hit Nepal, the mixture of red clay and water made our 4 wheeler jeep slip multiple times on the road, and gave us a scare for our lives (since one side of the road was the bottom of the hill, thousands of feet below us). We made it to Harmi by driving and hiking for a couple of hours, and discussed with the school staff what the best spot for the construction of the prefab buildings would be. During our first trip, we picked a spot on the inner side of the hilltop so that the wind would not threaten the stability of the classrooms. During this visit, we also witnessed school children carrying viable materials from the old affected area to a flatter field. A villager had temporarily given up his corn field to the school so that the school could build temporary shelters to start holding classes. After we talked to the principal, staff, and expressed our interest in helping them build a three classroom prefab building for the school, we headed back to Kathmandu to place a deposit on the prefab building, and asked the contractor to commence work.

(Side story: Steve was so well loved by the school kids that they swarmed around him and would not leave him alone. One of the school teachers had to bring out the class bell and ring it so that the kids would go back to their classes.)

About 10 days after our initial visit and placing a deposit on the prefab building, it was time to go to Harmi and put the pieces together to make the classrooms! It took additional 3-4 days with 8 full time workers to finish the job but we are very happy to let you know that the buildings have been completed! Unfortunately, the building work finished on Friday, June 26th, and since it takes a whole day to go to Harmi from where my family lives in Kathmandu, and because Steve and I had to return to the US on the 27th, the two of us were not able to physically go and see the completed buildings. However, once my family makes a visit to the place, I will update everyone with a picture of the completed buildings! For now, you can see pictures of what the skeleton of the prefab buildings looked like by the end of day 1 of construction.

We also collected some surplus medical supplies from UF (thank you!), and donated those to Primary Health Care and Resource Center (PHCRC) located in Chapagaun village of Lalitpur district in Kathmandu valley. Steve and I were both impressed by how many services the PHCRC provided (we had gone in thinking we were going to a rural health post with minimal services), and how they were the first ones in Nepal to adopt an insurance scheme. Needless to say, we have created a wonderful bond with PHCRC and hope to help them out however we can in the future.

A lot of other interesting events happened during our trip to Harmi (during our first visit, our jeep broke down so we rode on a truck in order to hop on a wedding entourage bus that in the end dropped us off just outside of the ring road in Kathmandu...Steve ended up going to the same wedding party’s wedding reception the next day, and danced with the groom…). I intend on making some blog posts on my website sometime soon with more details and hilarious moments from our trip. Please visit my website in the near future if you want to know more about our relief efforts in Nepal, as well as an American's (Steve's) experience with a Nepali family.

(Website under construction: www.roshaschronicles.com)

We both cannot thank you, our families, and friends enough for helping us initiate and (almost) complete our project in Nepal. As I see it, this is the first step we have taken to help make formal education more accessible to a lot of children in rural villages of Nepal, and we hope to do much more in the future. It is a dream that we both share.

Once again, thank you all very much as this could not have been done without your encouragement and support.


Regards,
-Rosha


(Link to classrooms building for Harmi village school: http://imgur.com/a/c6l3X)

(Link to health post donation photo album: http://imgur.com/a/nlAO3)
School classrooms that were destroyed
Steve with some of the school kids
Meeting with PHCRC director
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(Link to photo album: http://imgur.com/a/bZMUp)

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the lack of communication during the past week. We just got back from a 3 day relief work mission with an organization, Impact Nepal, which has been actively working on grounds since the April 25th earthquake. We tagged along with our friends in order to provide some physical support, and also learn how things are handled with relief material supplies distribution.

We went to two villages in Sindhupalchowk district which is one of the severely affected districts. The first day and a half was spent at Kalika where we distributed materials to build temporary shelters for around 150 houses. The flow of such relief material distribution is as follows: Impact Nepal team goes to a VDC (Village Development Committee) and distributes shelter material to the wards. Each household in a ward is separated into a couple of groups that usually has somewhere between 10-20 households in it. Each group picks a leader, and Impact Nepal team releases enough materials to the group leader to build shelters in his/her group. Then the team makes a shelter along with the team leaders, in order to train and show them the correct way of making these shelters.

Impact Nepal team had previously gone to Kalika and distributed shelter materials for a couple of wards, so one of our first tasks when we got there was to inspect the shelters that the villagers had built with the help of their group leaders. Some shelters were finished with doors and windows already set, where as some were still in the works because of technical difficulties, and even lack of man power. We encouraged the owners of the unfinished shelters to try and finish their shelter building in the next week, so they can stay safe inside when monsoon hits. After the inspection, on the second day we distributed shelter materials to the remaining wards that had not received building materials yet. Tarps and blankets were also provided along with the building materials.

We then moved to the village of Ukkhubari (sugarcane field) where we supplied building materials, tarps, and blankets to 250 households. The next step in this process is to go back to the same village in about a week, and inspect to make sure that the shelters are built correctly for the safety of the villagers.

Several things we saw and learned from the 3 day trip:
1) Villages have been devastatingly struck with the earthquake, and it has affected the day to day lives of the villagers. This also includes school children as school infrastructure has been completely destroyed. They only very recently resumed teaching under a temporary shelter made out of zinc plate roofs, with zinc plate partitions and no walls.

On Saturday, we were walking past the school buildings, and the headmaster walked around with us, showing us the damages that had occurred to the buildings. The school had 1st through 10th grade, and all classrooms were damaged. They had recently built a new science lab, and a computer lab with around 10 computers, and all of that was damaged in the earthquake. They had also just finished a building a new, bigger library for the students, but that building took a hard hit as well. I have uploaded some pictures so you can see the extent of the damages at the school, and how the kids and the teachers are slowly managing to resume taking classes now.

2) No matter if you were 10 or 70, a man or a woman, people came together to provide physical labor and transport things back and forth. There was a great sense of community/camaraderie and a sense of “us” rather than “me”.

3) Nepali people really do believe in "Atithi devo bhawa" (Guest is the equivalent of God). Almost every house we went to, we were offered water or fruits, and always given a mat or stool to sit on so we did not have to sit down on the dirt. This tugged our hearts because the water lines had stopped working at the village and there was only one communal picket working. People stayed in line for hours to get some water, and yet they generously offered us some when we visited their homes. They had lost their wheat and grain harvests because of the earthquake and the subsequent rain, and yet they offered whatever food they had to us.

After the hustle and bustle of the city, and a work oriented American life, this was a very humbling experience for the both of us. We spent a couple of days without water, electricity, technological distractions, and those couple of days will probably be the most memorable ones for us.

As far as the funds I have collected, I cannot thank each and every one of you for donating and spreading the word about my campaign. Tomorrow we are meeting with another individual who has collected funds for the earthquake relief as well. We are thinking about combining our efforts and the funds we have raised so far, and use that to build some temporary buildings that can be used as a school for children, as education is what will empower the younger generation to move on, rise, and build a stronger Nepal together.

We are also very thankful the team of Impact Nepal for letting us tag along and provide whatever physical energy we could in order to help out with this bigger cause. You can find more information on their work on their facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/impactnepalearthquakerelief?fref=ts).

I have changed the goal amount for the campaign because even if we have reached our initial goal, there is always more work that needs to be done. We can always donate any remaining funds to organizations that can channel the funds to where it is needed the most.

Please stay tuned for our next update.

Thank you!

-Rosha

Link to photo album: http://imgur.com/a/bZMUp
2 trucks of shelter building materials
Homes affected by the earthquake
Jig setup for pipe bending
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Hello everyone,

We are 3/5th of the way! I'd like to thank everybody for generously donating, spreading the word about this campaign, and supporting us!

We will be getting to Kathmandu in about 10 days. Monsoon season is coming up, and with the changes in the weather, there will be demands for better shelter, sanitary needs, etc. We hope to be able to help out a couple of communities with the money that we have collected so far.

We will most likely go through a local volunteer organization and provide relief materials and formally document it. A couple of villages in Rasuwa recently informed us that there have been redundancies in supplying relief materials because of smaller private relief missions. A couple of VDCs (Village Development Committee) did not receive any aid at all, while some others received an excess. We hope to use the money we have collected in a way that's most helpful to people in need.

We have collected some medical supplies from UF (Shands), thanks to Steve! We will be bringing that with us to Nepal. We will sort through the supplies, and either use it at a medical camp site, or donate the supplies that cannot be used at medical camps to a health post so it can be used in the future.

Please keep spreading the word about this campaign. We will be updating you with more information once we are in Nepal.

Once again, thank you for all the support you have shown!

-Rosha
Some medical supplies gathered at Shands
Medical supplies collected from Shands
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$6,783 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 84 people in 33 months
Created May 6, 2015
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RS
$40
Rachel Sanford
32 months ago

You guys are amazing! I wish I could do more.

$50
Anonymous
32 months ago
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$100
Hannah =)
32 months ago
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Good luck Rosha! Thank you for your incredible work.

$25
Anonymous
32 months ago
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$100
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32 months ago
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$100
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32 months ago
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PK
$250
P.Y. Keskar
32 months ago
1
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Thanks for your compassion, dedication and hard work!! My wife Sandhya and I are proud of you.

$100
Anonymous
32 months ago
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$100
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32 months ago
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$200
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32 months ago
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