Local voluntary and humanitarian efforts to help Nepal rise

Helping hands

Many voluntary and humanitarian organizations and groups have risen up to the task of helping thousands, if not millions, of affected individuals after the devastating earthquake struck Nepal. This post is dedicated to these teams and extraordinary people who are working tirelessly to help those in need with their rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Although I am unable to mention every organization here, I would like to say that your work speaks louder than words. Who am I to judge you and your work? I can only wish the best for you and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

1. CLEAN UP NEPAL 

Facebook Pagewww.facebook.com/cleanupnepal

Clean Up Nepal works to improve solid waste management in Nepal. Post earthquake, the NGO is working along with its partners to provide relief and rehabilitation support in and outside Kathmandu Valley.

a. Relief aid/ supplies

Consignments are being sent on an ongoing basis to Sindhupalchowk and Gorkha. Each consignment is enough to sustain targeted households for 7 days.

b. Assessments

The team has concluded assessments in Bhaktapur, Sindhupalchowk and peri-urban settlements with plans of similar assessments in Thankot and Machhegaun to understand needs on-the-ground.

c. Sanitation, Hygiene & Clean-ups around the Kathmandu Valley

In order to manage waste and raise awareness about proper waste management as a means to avoid communicable diseases, Clean Up Nepal headed to the Sindhupalchowk VDCs of  Yamunadandagaun, Sunkhani, Kadambas & Eerkhu.

How you can help: Go to Clean Up Nepal Earthquake Fund to donate.

2. GABI FRC

Facebook Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/gabifrc

Gabi FRC Team: Bina Ghale (Founder), Avi Shrestha (Co-founder), Dickesh Pradhan, Manish Rana Magar, Manoj Rana Magar

Gabi FRC is a social initiative started by fashion designer Bina Ghale. They started out by providing food supplies to people Gabi was taking refuge together with in an open field in the heart of Kathmandu City after the earthquake struck. They then shifted their focus to providing shelter in the form of tents to the homeless. They manufacture their own tents with flex sheets under the name of Gabi FRC – standing for Food, Roof and Cotton.

Gabi FRC Team at work
Gabi FRC Team making tents out of flex rolls
Photo Courtesy: Gabi FRC

Gabi FRC has produced more than 1,000 tents and sold them to various voluntary groups and then donated hundreds from the earnings. With the support from like-minded individuals and organizations, Gabi FRC has been able to procure flex and build tents with the help of eager and willing volunteers.

Gabi FRC is planning to crowdfund soon for getting clothes to the needy in the affected regions.

[Related: Aljazeera’s report of Gabi FRC’s exceptional work]

3. NEPAL RISES

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nepalrises

An earthquake response of team Effect, Nepal Rises is primarily a social media campaign with a quickly-built website to address the needs of people in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Basically, Nepal Rises scans social media to hear from people in the affected areas and match their needs with the resources. In addition, they source volunteers who can serve outside Kathmandu. They have been able to pinpoint the urgent needs of people in different affected areas through their social media pages. This helps them send their volunteers with the right supplies and essentials to the far-flung areas where little or no help is provided.

How you can help: Go to http://www.effect.org/donate/ to donate.

4. FILL THE BUCKET

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/fillthebucketnepal

Fill The Bucket Nepal can be considered as a bridge between the government and the people. They are working with the government so as to expand the aid reach. Not only this, the team is also closely working with Nepalgunj Medical College to provide food, medicine and shelter (the basic essentials at this critical time) to earthquake-affected regions of Nepal.

How you can help: Go to Nepal Remote Earthquake Relief Fund to donate.

5. SAGARMATHA ORPHANAGE

Ayusha Shrestha has been working in collaboration with Sagarmatha Orphanage to help children, one of the most neglected sections of our society ever since the earthquake struck. Her team and Sagarmatha Orphanage has been able to provide relief and rehabilitation efforts, including shelter, food and repairs, to nearly 150 other orphanages in the Kathmandu Valley.

Salute to these and many other tireless and exceptional people who are working selflessly to help rebuild Nepal!

Nepal Flash Appeal: Post-earthquake financial requirements

As we are all aware, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit Nepal on 25 April 2015 killing more than 8,000 people and many more injured. In the wake of this event, many relief and rescue operations are taking place to help quake survivors.

Here, I will not dwell on the destruction the earthquake caused. I will only try and give you a bird’s eye view of the financial requirements as spelt out in the Nepal Flash Appeal made by the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Nepal supported by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in collaboration with humanitarian partners.

Key Immediate Needs Nepal as of 5 May 2015
Post-earthquake key immediate needs of Nepal as of 5 May 2015

[Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) ]

Highlights of Nepal Flash Appeal

  1. Nepal Flash Appeal calls for US$423 million to respond to the most urgent life-saving and protection needs of more than 8 million affected people for the next 3 months.
  2. The appeal covers the period from 25 April to 31 July 2015.
  3. There are a total of 12 clusters divided into various themes to respond to the immediate and most urgent needs.

Cluster financial requirements along with the name and details of Contact Persons are as follows:

  • Health: $41.8 million required for 4.2 million people including 1.7 million children.

Contact: Dr.Edwin Salvador (salvadore@who.int)

  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): $63 million required for 4.2 million people.

Contact: Antti Rautavaara (amrautavaara@unicef.org)

Contact: Marco Cavalcante (marco.cavalcante@wfp.org)

  • Nutrition: $12.8 million required to reach nearly 430,000 children under-five.

Contact: Anirudra Sharma (ansharma@unicef.org)

  • Protection: $13.7 million for more than 1.7 million children & 525,000 women of reproductive age.

Contact: Radha Gurung (rgurung@unicef.org)

  • Education: $21.4 million required for 1.5 million school-aged children

Contact: Marian Hodgkin (mhodgkin@unicef.org)

  • Shelter & Non-Food Items: $77 million required to 360,000 households

Contact: Victoria Stodart (victoria.stodart@ifrc.org)

  • Camp Coordination & Camp Management (CCCM): $10.4 million required to 400,000 displaced

Contact: Jean Philippe Antolin (jantolin@ion.int)

  • Early Recovery: $16.1 million required to support humanitarian operations

Contact: Sophie Kemkhadze (sophie.kemkhadze@undp.org)

  • Logistics and Access: $32.5 million required to support humanitarian operations

Contact: Baptiste Burgaurd (baptiste.burgaurd@wfp.org)

  • Emergency Telecommunications $2.5 million required to support humanitarian operations

Contact: Oscar Caleman (nepal.etc@wfp.org)

  • Coordination: $3.7 million required to support humanitarian operations

Contact: Markus Werne (werne@un.org)

On 28 April, 2015, the UN OCHA Central Emergency Response Fund provided a sum of US$15 million to help address the most urgent and immediate needs of those affected.

As of May 6, 2015, a total of NPR.675,209,327.80 (US$6,596,160.44) has been collected in the PM Disaster Relief Fund, a rescue fund set up by the Nepal government for rescue, treatment, relief, rehabilitation of survivors and restoration of physical infrastructure damaged by natural disaster and calamities. Out of the total collected funds, NPR.400,000,000.00 (US$39076240.00) has been allocated for various relief operations.

 

Nepal Earthquake 2015

I was at home working on my laptop when Saturday’s devastating earthquake struck. When I ran to the stairs (I was on the first floor), the whole staircase was swinging like hell. I thought I would not be able to make it to the ground floor. It felt as though the world around me would collapse and we would all die. Luckily nothing happened to me and my family.

However, it was not the same everywhere.

In my neighborhood, the second floor of our neighbor’s house collapsed. The floor was under construction and a laborer was working inside when the quake hit us. The worker fell to the ground and sustained serious spinal cord injury. He was rushed to the Trauma Center in Bir Hospital at the center of the Kathmandu City.

Earthquake destroyed our neighbor's house
Earthquake destroyed our neighbor’s house

 

It is needless for me to say that the earthquake caused much destruction of lives and places of historical importance in Kathmandu and 10 other hilly districts of Nepal. I am only going to express my feelings about the earthquake and the destruction it caused. The internet is already overflowing with reports of the the quake, more tremors and the aftermath of the quake.

I will also mention an NGO who is working tirelessly to help quake survivors. I saw Clean Up Nepal work firsthand when I went to volunteer there yesterday.

I was at the Clean Up Nepal office to attend an orientation of a needs assessment survey to be done at Sindhupalchowk district. Sindhupalchowk is the epicenter of the second major earthquake which took place on Sunday 26 April 2015. The most affected region is reported to be Sindhupalchowk, a district although being close to Kathmandu is one of the least developed and impoverished ones in the country. It is reported that the district of Sindhupalchowk sustained the most damage to lives and property compared to other affected regions.

The Clean Up Nepal team has worked out that 75 Nepalese Rupees (US$ 0.75) is all that is needed to provide daily shelter, clean drinking water and food for one person in the district.

The death toll in the district has reached 3,656, which means the number of survivors in the district can be in the range of 25,000 to 28,000. Since official records are yet to be collected with the possibility of people still buried under the rubble, it is hard to pinpoint the number of survivors in the district. Even then, the cost of sustaining the survivors can be roughly calculated to be to the tune of US$18,750 to US$21,000.

It’s the tenth day since the first earthquake (7.9m) struck on Saturday and we are still experiencing intermittent tremors of smaller magnitude. However, with the right effort and aid it is certain that Sindhupalchowk along with other affected regions will soon be able to bounce back.

We have to rise and we will rise.

Earthquake-affected districts of Nepal 

  1. Bhaktapur
  2. Dhading
  3. Dolakha
  4. Gorkha
  5. Kavrepalanchowk
  6. Kathmandu
  7. Lalitpur
  8. Nuwakot
  9. Ramechhap
  10. Rasuwa
  11. Sindhupalchowk

 

 

Tête-à-tête with my tea

Today’s Prompt was to pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.
Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

My word is “Tea” and the book is “Freedom in Exile”.

Freedom in exile

 

Dear Tea,

I am ever so thankful to you for being there for me through thick and thin. I vividly remember my college days when I used to trap you inside a stainless steel tumbler so that I could drink you later in the night to study for exams. But did you ever complain? No! Instead you would slowly and silently enter my system to help me through the night. I got distinction. And the credit goes largely to you. You are my silent hero.

And when I used to have puffy eyes in the morning, you came in really handy. How? Well, I would just put a wet bag of you over my eyes for 15-20 minutes and voila I would not have puffy eyes any more. I do that every now and then even today. I’m sorry to make you go through all the trouble in the process:

  1. Steeping you in hot water for 3-5 minutes;
  2. Refrigerating you for 20 minutes until you shrivel;
  3. Taking you out of the freezer and squeezing you to remove excess liquid before applying you over my eyes.

Thank you so much!

Wait, I’m not finished yet!

Dear Tea, you are truly amazing not just in helping me get rid of puffiness, but also for a large variety of your medicinal benefits. And you come in all types and color–green, black, white, oolong, herbal to name a few. I have tried your green, black and herbal avatars. I went through your glossary a bit ago on a site dedicated to you and your kith and kin. I am amazed that you are cultivated in so many great varieties. I am yet to try your other avatars and I’m sure you must be equally good in them.

Honestly, you are simply the best. A hot cup of green you in the morning works wonders for me, not to mention your superb ability to help digestion. When I come back home from a tiring day at work, you are there to welcome me with all of your invigorating properties. You are truly a lifesaver.

What more! You make me look younger by the day! You are brimming with antioxidants and you help me ward off diseases and early signs of aging. No or reduced wrinkles, that’s what I’ve experienced. It is scientifically proven that you have 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in fruits and veggies. No antioxidant supplements needed- just a few cups of you throughout the day and I’m done.

No matter how much I try I will never be able to thank you enough for your magnanimity.  The more I drink you or think about you the more grateful I feel I am to you. Thank you so much for always been there for me. I am sure you will never fail me even though I might not be as kind to you as you are to me.

Sincerely yours,

Ayushma

An avid tea drinker

 

I plan my dream

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” – Zig Ziglar

Put plan to action

I have been wanting to write for so long but could not muster enough energy to do that. The last few months have been totally taxing for me. It wore me down easily and I felt as though I lost all my self-confidence. Well, that’s just human I guess.

As soon as I would wake up, I would always feel the urge to do something worthwhile that day but couldn’t actually do so. Well, today was no exception, but it was different at the same time.

I have been reading online resources on brushing up your life skills and training yourself to be positive for the last few months without actually performing any of the tips or suggestions. However, today, I got up and actually wrote down my reinvention plan for 2015.

Writing down a plan to fulfill your dream is much more insightful instead of just confining your dreams in your thoughts on what you wanna be in the future. When I got down to write the plan, my dream felt tangible. It felt as though I will be able to fulfill it without having to wait for long. In other words, writing my plan helped me live the dream and provided me self-confidence.

For this I would like to give credit to all the resources that I read online on developing one’s life skills. Special credit goes to Kathryn Sanford. I stumbled upon Kathryn while I was going through the rummages in Facebook. Her recount of her past resonated with what I am, or rather was, going through at the moment. Kathryn has worked as a teacher, deputy principal, project manager and business consultant. Working with incompetent bosses rendered her redundant 3 times in 18 months. Life was harsh. However, she survived because of her passion for life.

What Kathryn wrote on her blog definitely convinced me to do something with my life. I am a proactive person by nature. But the last few months seemed really challenging. Every time I tried to bring my life back on track, it would rebound and I would fall flat on my back. But this time I can say with great deal of confidence that I will not fall short of realizing my dream anymore.

Life is a roller-coaster ride. I’m sure that even though I have the plan, it will not be a cakewalk for me to achieve my goal. As Robin Sharma said that relentless beats intelligence, I’m on my way to take on the gauntlet life throws at me. With carefully chalked-out actions and tasks, I am sure I will be able to overcome challenges.

Let me leave you with more quotes on the importance of planning.

  • “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • “By failing to prepare, your are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

My fracture, how I am recovering

Buddha's quote on self-kindness

Sometimes things occur when you expect them the least. Who would have thought that I would have a broken arm once again after a period of 9 years! At least not me. But then it happened. I broke my left elbow a little less than 2 months back for the second time. Thankfully, my arm is no longer on cast (plaster). However, I am currently undergoing excruciatingly tedious and painful physiotherapy sessions that render me feeling feverish all day long.

Now you must be wondering as to why I am writing this post despite having painful episodes at the moment. Let me take this opportunity to thank a dear blogger whom I have been following for a pretty long time. He managed to write a blog post today despite his age, today’s ruthless weather and the ever unpredictable power cuts in Nepal. If this elderly gentleman who likes to be called “Dai” (elder brother) could muster enough strength to go about his Christmas shopping in this weather and also write about it, why couldn’t I?

So let me share with you the things I did to distract myself from being worried about my broken arm.

After reading an insightful article on Huffingtonpost.com one day, I decided to try at least as many of the 40 self-kindness advice the article recommended. I like No.6 especially for its emphasis on watching our self-critic from pressurizing ourselves too much for everything and anything. I am trying to keep a balance to everything that’s going on within me ever since I got the fracture so that I do not end up hating myself for all the things that did not go well in my life.

Of the things that I could do during the time my arm was on cast was join the online Oprah and Chopra 21-day meditation experience which spanned from 3 to 24 November 2014. I am most thankful to Chopra Meditation Center for holding this event which coincided with the time when I needed it the most. The discourses given by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra were amazingly thought-provoking and very enlightening. I wish to apply each day’s mantra and teaching to my every day life.

I remember posting this on my Facebook timeline right after the fracture:

It’s such a debilitating experience to have an arm broken and then having to face the fact that it has to be plastered for 6 long weeks“.

For once it was debilitating, but later on when I thought about it long and hard I realized how hard it must be for people without limbs, I consoled myself that it’s just a matter of time.

Sometimes when we are weak physically, our minds tend to wander so much that we think only of the negative. I believe that we should not let our inner critics berate ourselves for all the things that went wrong. Just relax and love ourselves.

[Image credit: daniellelevynutrition.com]