Last April, when a series of devastating earthquakes struck Nepal, the Friends of Himalayan Sherpa People (FHSP) was within a month of launching a fundraising campaign to finish building a school in a remote village – a three-day trek from Kathmandu. This important project was put on hold in order to provide lifesaving relief to families who lost their primary breadwinner in the earthquake.
World Dance for Humanity supporters stepped up to help bring aid to these people, through FHSP. The organization sent us this report about the aid we provided:
So many of you were so generous in your giving of relief support and we can now report out on how that money was used and what our plans are for the future. The relief effort in Nepal is so difficult due to lack of roads, non-existent communication infrastructure and overcoming the logistical nightmare of getting aid to the people who need it the most. We realized that large relief organizations were focused on major population centers and that a real need existed in the mountainous villages that were unlikely to see any help. To this end we focused our efforts on helping these mountain communities.
Our first relief efforts focused on providing tarps to families who needed them to quickly make shelters to protect them from the monsoon rains. We delivered 112 large tarps to families that needed them. These were hiked in by porters to villages that roads did not service. This also provided some desperately needed work to “porter families” who were out of work due to the collapsed tourist season.
We wanted to find a way to get actual supplies to families who lost their primary breadwinner in the earthquake caused by the Langtang avalanche, but this proved to be very difficult. We realized that allowing them to purchase what they needed was the best use of our relief funds AND it allowed money to be put into the local mountain economies so desperately in need of a boost. We were able to provide a stipend to 15 families for food, shelter, school books and essential supplies to help make it through the monsoon season.
Here is a breakdown of the donations received and the allocation of funds:
$15,176 Raised for Earthquake Relief
$5,100 Allocated for tarps and immediate shelter relief
$10,076 Re-building stipends – mid-October
The photos are of some of the families that received the aid. Each family signed a receipt or provided a fingerprint (above) and were photographed for documentation purposes. The two men who traveled to the villages to disburse the funds were paid a small stipend and reported back to us on their success. Based on this we decided to hold the remaining funds until the monsoon rains end then begin to award re-building grants or stipends to families whose homes were destroyed and need to start over again. Based on the funds we currently are holding, we estimate that we will be able to grant about 50 families 25,000 rupees each to help rebuild. While this is only about $250 for each family, it represents a very generous down payment on their effort to rebuild their homes and their lives.
Our relief efforts have just begun –100% of all donations will be put to work in the villages this fall.
Special thanks to World Dance for Humanity and the Noon Rotary Club of Mammoth Lakes, CA for their generous support.