Dear friends and colleagues,
As many of you know, for a number of years I’ve been working on community development projects in Nepal, under the auspices of a registered Canadian charity, (NCDF - The Nepal Community Development Foundation) which I have served as a director since 2011. I share this honour and duty with three of my closest friends, and it’s added a wonderful and engaging dimension to my life ever since.
You may also be aware that I am currently working on a masters degree in sustainable community development and human security at Royal Roads University and that my research is based in Nepal. My last trip, along with my son Graham was just last May of 2014. This was was trip number six and I am heading back to Nepal in three days.
As you might imagine, the catastrophic earthquake that occurred just over two weeks ago has left me feeling gutted and helpless. If all this wasn't bad enough, a second one occurred today in the Namche region just south of Everest. The one positive note is that after a number of Skype calls and emails we were able to establish that our friends and contacts in Kathmandu escaped injury, and that our project area in eastern Nepal experienced only minor damage, with no casualties in either incident.
I am, of course, thankful for this. But my relief must be seen in the context of the bigger picture, which contains an unfathomable death toll and a landscape of widespread destruction.
Our sister organization in Nepal (NCDC) is tasked with the responsibilities involved in completing the day to day projects, has just returned from a relief mission in the Sindhupalchok area, which was heavily hit.* This sort of project is new ground for all of us, since we usually work on low-to-the-ground, unglamorous things like latrine construction, safe cooking stoves, fog collection, hygiene education and the like, with a focus on long-term value and sustainability.
Of course, this new relief work has a particular urgency to it and faces a number of logistical challenges due to landslides and other problems. It is also meant to synchronize with the work of fine organizations like World Vision and the Red Cross, as well as many international government agencies like our own Canadian DART team, which has set up emergency hospitals and water treatment facilities in some of the hardest-hit areas.
I’m telling you this to share what is happening in my life at the moment, and to ask for a small measure of support. I’m well aware of how exhausting this kind of gesture can be, given that in the internet age we’re all constantly bombarded with requests for support from an almost incalculable number of organizations with genuinely valuable causes. It can, and often does, result in the sort of fatigue that can make any sane person turn off the noise and retreat to a quiet and empty space. I do
If you can, please donate, I can assure you that whatever small amount you can spare will go directly to reconstruction efforts in devastated areas. Our team is working in the Sindhupalchok region. The images below are of the relief effort and were sent to me yesterday. The NCDC team is now gathering the resources to visit again in the very near future. Something can, and is being done to provide relief.
Thanks for the few moments it took you to read this, and thanks in advance for any form of support you can extend.
My best wishes,
NCDF is a registered charity. Canadian donations are tax deductible.
* Special thanks must be given to the Development Fund (DF) in Norway, who provided the initial funding for this relief mission, above and beyond the support they provide to NCDC on an ongoing basis.