Archive | April 2015

Could you risk the dangers in order to reach villages cut off by the Nepal Earthquake? Please support those who are.

Imagine living on $3 a day, and then suddenly a bottle of water costs nearly a week’s wages.
Living in a village on a mountainside, growing all your own food on that mountainside, and finding that it is no longer there due to landslides, and that your house is in such an unsafe position that you shouldn’t let your children sleep in it, but there is nowhere else to shelter at night.

I don’t usually write begging letters, it’s not in my nature, but I am making an exception as I am hearing first hand by text and email about the plight of the people of Nepal. Those I know are out in Nepal working for charities, some are still missing. Others I know grabbed their Emergency bags and rushed to the airport in their home countries waiting for the phone call saying that they are booked on a fight. Most have not yet reached Nepal due to the fact the airstrips are not able to take the increased air traffic, and as I understand it, the airports are being closed regularly due to the aftershocks. You can imagine the frustrations they are feeling, sitting around in airport transit lounges knowing that they can help, if only they can get there.

Official reports are being given by the media that the death toll has increased to 3000, I am certain this is going to rise further, only this evening I heard of colleagues who managed to reach a village on motorbike, and were faced with over 30 bodies. The police and search and rescue have not reached this village yet, when they do, no doubt the death toll will rise. This is only one village, there are hundreds of villages which have not yet been reached.

Anyone who has been to Nepal or seen it in photos will know that it is a beautiful country, with a stunning landscape, but it is a very unforgiving landscape. Many villages are built on the mountainside, and one house on top of another, which has made the landslides even more dangerous and devastating.

While the tales of the number of people who have been killed in the earthquake and after effects are horrific, what is more horrific is that those who are alive are suffering from a lack of medical care, clean water, shelter, food. Many will be searching for family and friends, not knowing if they are dead or alive. Much of the UK media has been focused on the Europeans and Americans who are stranded on Mount Everest, but they are only a handful of those who are suffering.

Hence my begging letter, if you can spare some cash, perhaps forgo the lattes this week or the takeaway you were planning for Friday night, this will go a long way in the relief effort. I know many of you will be saying that you have seen the news exclusives and that most of the charities spend more on administration than they do on helping others. But not all do..

The Esther Benjamins Trust is based in Nepal, but is British run. At the moment their staff are on motorbikes, trying to reach villages to check up on children who had been rescued from human trafficking by the charity, and who had been placed back with their families. These children have already suffered trauma, imagine what they are now going through (if they have survived the quake itself). This is a small charity which was already making a huge difference to the lives of Nepalese children prior to the earthquake, but who now really need help to ensure that they can assist those families who have no shelter, and are facing the real threat of not being able to afford a bottle of water or bag of rice due to the ‘quake inflation.

You can donate to the Trust at http://www.ebtrust.org.uk/donate-to-charity or via text – Text EBTK13 £2/£5/£10 to 70070

Alternatively if you want to donate to a more well known charity, the British Red Cross has an earthquake appeal http://www.redcross.org.uk/NepalEarthquake

For the Aussies reading this, you can donate at https://donations.redcross.org.au

For the Yankees reading this, you can donate at http://www.redcross.org

It doesn’t need to be a lot, whatever you can spare will help.

And for those of you who are thinking of going out to Nepal to help..the message coming out of Nepal is “Don’t Come”. While you may be good intentioned, you will use up the scarce resources such as water and fuel. If you want to help, please pass around this blog, and sign on for newsletter updates with charities such as Esther Benjamins and the British Red Cross, in due course, when the time is right, they will be asking for assistance, such as bedding and warm clothing, and volunteers to help rebuild schools and medical centers.