On Saturday, April 25th, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal. Following that, another devastating earthquake of magnitude 7.3 hit on May 12th, 2015. The country experienced more than 200 aftershocks, which ranged between magnitudes 4.5 and 6.6. It is estimated that over 6,200 people were killed in Nepal alone and over 14,000 more received serious injuries. In total, the United Nations estimates that over 8 million people were “affected”. Many of the most severe losses occurred in the more remote villages of Nepal which are scattered among the Himalayas, and thus isolated from Kathmandu. As such, many of the deaths recorded were either a direct result of the earthquake or due to lack of necessary resources such as food and shelter. Estimations state that around 2.8 million Nepali people were displaced. The earthquake resulted in widespread damage to buildings, roads, and other public infrastructure.
“Currently every one is gripped with fear. No one is thinking about anything except how to stay safe.
The continuous aftershocks not helping to come out of fear.”
-Meera Bhatteria Executive Director of the Association for Craft Producers
Though there was an incredible show of support from the international community towards the people of Nepal in the weeks following the disaster of April 25th, much of the aid promised and/or available was not initially distributed effectively and efficiently.
This was due partially to the fact that many of the villages which received the most damage are geographically remote and nearly inaccessible by road and partially because the Nepali government simply does not possess the infrastructure necessary to handle such a catastrophe.
As such, larger, multinational organizations such as Red Cross, USAID and even the UN, who had to pass through this complex bureaucratic process, were unable to prove much needed immediate aid.
“Our solution relies upon building relationships, individual connections, direct impact, and partnership.”
Our Solution: Fair Aid
Relief for the people of Nepal came in smaller packages, a solution which we have affectionately titled “Fair Aid”. Fair Aid Foundations are based on relationships, individual connections, direct impact, and partnership. With these guiding principles, CCF alone was able to partner with individual Nepali citizens and local NGO’s in both the Kathmandu Valley and outlying villages and as a result:
Supplied over 200 families of 4 in multiple villages scattered throughout Dhading District with food and shelter within 10 days of the initial earthquake and over 1850 families of 4 within 30 days.
All for approximately $20/family for food for a month.
Through emphasis on relationships, individual connections, direct impact, and partnerships CCF and many other small NGO’s were able to provide immediate emergency relief to villages which had lost nearly all of their livestock, food supplies, and shelter. Often, this aid came weeks or months before larger relief agencies even reached these villages.
“Over 2.8 million Nepali people have been displaced.”
Providing aid for Nepal after this disaster will be a big task, but even the smallest contributions are enormously impactful. Up to this point, our most pressing task has been to get food, shelter, and supplies distributed to as many villages as possible; replacing some of the food stores lost during the earthquakes in preparation for monsoon season. To an estimated 1850 families we’ve been able to distribute over $27,000 in immediate, direct relief. It has cost only $15-$20 to feed a family of four for an entire month! And, where necessary, communities and individual families have received tarps, durable canvas tents, and tin sheet metal to create temporary shelters. Much of this has been provided for only $20 per family.
Together we have accomplished amazing things! Thousands have been affected and helped because of the kindness shown by donors like you, but there is a long way to go. As the media and international attention drifts from Nepal and the plight of its people in the coming months and years, CCF’s focus will be on sustainable and reliable aid; rebuilding the villages and homes. At times, literally, from the ground up.
Learn more about CCF’s relief efforts:
Conscious Connections Foundation
P.O. Box 342
Spokane WA 99210-0342