Soon after the devastating quakes in Nepal, neighboring India imposed an undeclared economic blockade. Daily essentials such as food and transport fuel, cooking gas, medicines etc. were not allowed to enter Nepal. All activities came to a halt including the reconstruction of destroyed homes and the delivery of daily essentials and medicine to the earthquake victims. During this critical time, it was the INGOs and the NGOs who came to the rescue of the Nepalis during their darkest hour. CHHATRAPATI FREE CLINIC, HIMRIGHTS, and GLOBAL FAMILY VILLAGE-NEPAL were instrumental in providing immediate medical care, food packages, temporary shelter, community support, early childhood and school support to the earthquake victims, supported by Global Family Village through GlobalGiving and other friends.
During the past 3 months the combined organizations have collaborated their efforts for maximum effect. They are proud to report that:
• 16 awareness programs at VDC/ward level on issues of human rights, women’s rights, child rights and protection, health and sanitation, and preventative crisis measures have been established to address the issues of earthquake-affected victims. Included were awareness programs to sensitize women on the budget allocated by the government for women’s issues. The women have committed to follow up with ward office and citizen ward forum. Similarly, women groups of Siddipur and Lubhu were committed to organize the sensitization programs for the adolescents and women in coordination with Ward Citizen Forum.
• The Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in Lubhu and Siddipur that were established for helping children to cope up with the psychosocial problems faced by the children in post earthquake have been handed over to the community! In these spaces, the children are able to reduce their mental stress by interacting and playing with their friends and peers while their parents are able to take care of other household work, returning to jobs, manage food and water, reconstruction of their damaged houses, re- establishing their livelihoods, assisting their neighbors and community in recovering.
• 21 HIV infected children of Safalta HIV Children's Home in Kirtipur were provided with a month’s supply of nutritional food and personal hygiene supplies.
• 200 earthquake victims in the outskirts of Kathmandu District and 220 more in the remote Jalbire in Sindhupalchowk District received warm blankets.
• 50 new mothers were provided with food packages and blankets,
• 200 bundles of roof sheets were delivered to the poor earthquake victims in Kathmandu and Lalitpur. This includes 16 bundles to Bloom Nepal School, Lubhoo, Lalitpur District, 5 bundles to Kankeshwori Primary School in Kankeswori, Kathmandu.
• 550 families of Bigu are receiving some 1650 bundles of corrugated zinc sheets while this report is being written. The undeclared Indian blockade caused much delay in distribution of the roof sheets in this remote village as transportation of the goods was not possible due to the acute shortage of fuel.
• The fourth edition of the Children's Coloring/ Book (11,000 copies) were re-printed and distributed to children and families. Books were also made available to Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) which runs Child Helpline 1098 (in Kathmandu, Hetauda, Nepalgunj, Pokhara and Biratnagar).
The earthquakes, extreme weather and then the Indian blockade had made the lives of 23 million Nepalis precarious. GlobalGiving and GFV friends responded to this humanitarian crisis whole-heartedly. Thank you all for showing up!
A disastrous earthquake in an already impoverished country followed by a one-two punch of water-shortage and devastating rains. And then, top it off with yesterday's quake and the seemingly never-ending aftershocks.... What can a small organization or a few individuals do?
When the quake first hit, the Chhatrapati Free Clinic was well prepared, positioned on the ground and already working to help victims. Bijaya Mali, the Chairman had been involved in earthquake preparedness for the last 15 years! My first thought was to support them, and then figure out how to proceed. A few days after my arrival here team efforts were being mobilized throughout the country as well, and there were additional critical problems to address, like protection from the elements, water and food for the survivors. The Chhatrapati Clinic handled all "our" funding, first for their immediate emergency use (and also for safekeeping), while together we decided on the most immediate and effective way we could contribute to the relief efforts. We distributed the money to the most effective and trusted groups that were concerned with getting aid to areas not being addressed by the government or large organizations. For example, aside from medicine and first aid materials for the clinic and local distribution, we donated funding for supplies to help a volunteer group that was searching for tarps and sewing them to make temporary tent-like shelters for immediate distribution to the remote areas where thousands were without shelter from the heavy rains. We supplied large quantities of rice and food stuffs to remote villages, and just yesterday before the quake we helped send out relief packages to families in remote areas that have not yet received aid. As previously mentioned the Bungamati Cooperative Society school building was badly damaged and not salvageable. We committed to pay for partition walls for a new temporary shelter so that the school can open for classes next week. The partitions will later be incorporated into an earthquake-safe building. It's important for the children to normalize their lives as soon as possible.
I feel honored that I was here in time to help oversee the funding allotment on your behalf. I felt and appreciated your support in all ways. At this point, all the funding has been allocated. Now that the critical emergency rescue is just about over we can all start thinking about recovery and rebuilding. In this regard GFV will concentrate on the children. From here-on-in, funds received by GFV will be directed by us toward the emotional healing, heath and safety of the children who have been so traumatized. Thank you so much for your support.
Freema Davis, Executive Director, GFV, Inc
Photo: Courtesy of Brian Sokol - www.briansokol.com
Day 1 in Nepal