HSYWE - Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort
Date : 5th May,2015.
By now, the international world is well aware of the horror images of bodies caught under mounds of collapsed buildings and ancient heritages turned to rubble in Nepal. On April 25th, a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by well over 100 aftershocks, some even as recent as this morning in the capital city, Kathmandu, changed the lives of Nepal’s people and its world famous landscapes forever. With rescue teams finally reaching villages most acutely impacted by the earthquake, estimates of death tolls are reaching close to 10,000 with many more injured. Millions are impacted. The Board of Directors and staff of Himalayan Society for Youth and Women Empowerment (HSYWE) express our deep sadness and heartfelt condolences to all the families who lost loved ones or homes in this national tragedy.
The scale of the natural disaster and its unprecedented destruction, clearly affected many overseas Nepalese and friends of Nepal. The international support and mobilization to offer immediate relief work has been overwhelming. The show of generosity and strength of human spirit has been unprecedented in scope and scale.
HSYWE staff and volunteers organized to offer immediate supplies of food, shelter (tents), and mattresses in the far remote village of Atarpur in Sindhupalchowk. Our staff, volunteers, and two people from the village of Atarpur worked closely with village residents and leaders. Together, the team identified supplies the village communities needed and organized transportation and distribution of the supplies directly to the village residents. Many residents thanked HSYWE for coming to their village - we were the first relief team to make it to this area. As with many villages in Nepal, the population demographics in Atarpur village was mostly seniors, women or children. Many Nepali village men leave their villages to become migrant workers.
At Atarpur, half of our team walked up steep hills at an average height of 13,000 feettoassess two wards (#5 and #8) in the village. Road conditions to the villages continue to be challenging due to landslides particularly for relief teams going to rural Nepal.The remaining team members visited Doban, Lisangu adjacent to Atarpur
Our team stationed at 'Bulbule' (pronounced “Bul-Bu-Le”) where we began distributing tents, mattresses, dry flat/beaten rice (a traditional food in the mountains) and boxes of instant noodles after receiving confirmation from the two teams of the severity of damage. Forty-two villagers of Sajhaban (ward #5) and 8 families of Doban received basic relief supplies from the HSYWE team.
Mr. Lanam Dorjee Lama, representative of the 37 families in Lisangu (ward #8), mentioned that “no one had come to our village”after the earthquake. The representative said, “Helicopters flew overhead but no one came. You have seen for yourself how our houses have been destroyed and how the people are living in hencoops."Mr. Lama thanked the team repeatedly. They still require tarpaulin sheets for shelter.
Among the village residents HSYWE served, was an elderly homeless couple (around 60 years old). This couple had no children or relatives. They built themselves a temporary shelter using tree branches after losing their home to the earthquake. We were able to offer them a mattress eachand some beaten rice. There was also a family who had a one-month old baby whom we offereda tent to provide better protection and safety, particularly for the lactating mother and her newborn baby.
As our team meandered our way from hill to hill, village to village, we were filled with feelings of deep sadness at the scale of destruction and death, remorse that our supplies were less than what people need, and happiness at seeing the sheer resilience of the human spirit. Our team returned with the determination and commitment to reach out to more people and places in the second trip.
We strongly believe that Nepal will recover and rise from the rubbles to its past beauty. While we grieve the immense loss of lives and livelihoods for many, we also remind our friends and supporters everywhere that, together, we will rebuild Nepal one village-at-a-time; one family-at-a-time because we are resilient mountain people!
HSYWE invites you to donate generously at this time of need in Nepal.
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- preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage and unique identity of Himalayan and trans-Himalayan peoples
- improve communication and comprehension by way of Tibetan and English language programs
- provide vocational and educational scholarships for underprivileged youth
- enhance personal and community development through awareness programs
- reduce unemployment by offering job placement assistance
- Serving primarily disadvantaged youth and women, HSYWE strives to preserve tradition while simultaneously equipping its participants with the skills needed to thrive in the modern world.
The organisation is spearheaded by the Board Executive Committee and an Advisory Board and funded by the SV-BECSE Project of The Netherlands. Our team of socially responsible, concerned leaders is devoted to addressing the need for higher educational opportunities, vocational training, language skills, employment and cultural preservation among Nepal’s Himalayan communities. The services provided by HSYWE will ultimately build confidence, stimulate economic self-reliance, cultivate leaders and professionals, foster social uplift and uphold a treasured culture.
HSYWE headquarters are located in Mahankal-Baudha in northeast Kathmandu, Nepal. In order to better serve a wider audience, HSYWE recently opened at another location, The Second Reading Room, in west Kathmandu’s Swayambhu area.