For those of you who have not been to Nepal, I urge you to go. It is a beautiful country, with landscapes varying from mountain horizons to balmy jungle. When I think of Kathmandu, I think of colour, probably due to the association with the Nepali prayer flags that are adorned on buildings and around shrines. What really struck me about Nepal, was the beauty of the people, not just in appearance, but in character, friendliness, and personality. However, we need to help Nepal.
On April 25th 2015, the idyllic country of Nepal was struck a catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.8. Not three weeks later, on May 12th, a second earthquake of magnitude 7.3 hit the region. It is not uncommon for several earthquakes to take place along a fault-line in such a quick succession, but this does not that the country was any more prepared, or that the rest of the world was in any less shock. Luckily, it also did not mean that the world was any less likely to help Nepal.
The death toll is estimated to be at 8891, which is not something that I wish to dwell on, as the most important consideration eight months on is the fact that there are still thousands of people who are displaced, homeless, and with minimal aid. UNRCO estimate that there are 2.8 million people in need of assistance. It is a shameful fact that once the media attention eases from a disaster, it is too easy for us to forget what is left. Amongst those who survived are children, left without homes and families. On my holiday to Nepal last April, I met a mother and daughter who owned a laundry shop in the basement of a building in Kathmandu. They also made bracelets, one of which I still wear around my wrist today. When the first quake hit, I could not stop thinking about these two women, the daughter being shy of 13 years old, in their shop below street level. This is not a somber post, but I want you as readers to understand the severity of the aid situation, and to help Nepal.
How Can You Help Nepal?
Enter Sam, Rory, Phil, and Jonathon. Four twenty-somethings from the UK, who on February 3rd 2016 are embarking on a remarkable journey under the title of Taking The High Road. Sam, Rory and Phil will be travelling from Shanghai, China to Kathmandu, Nepal (where Jonathon will be waiting with his sustainable architecture experience), 7000km via Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and India. Oh, did I mention that they are making this journey on bikes?! As in actual push bikes. They’re cycling. They’re mental, but absolutely incredible human beings.
It goes without saying that you can sponsor this cycle through their website, or sponsor link, to help give them that incentive when their calves are about to explode. However, that’s not the end of it. When they get to Kathmandu, they will begin the second part of their trip to help Nepal. In collaboration with Chora Chori, they hope to build a self-sustaining refuge for young girls who have been forced into slavery and poverty in the aftermath of the quakes. The refuge will provide shelter, food, education, and protection to 20 girls at a time. Chora Chori aims to reunite these girls with their families, before taking in new girls in need, and sustaining their education through university.
Each of these superhero men have training in appropriate fields, which means that the resulting shelter will be earthquake resistant, be equipped with solar panels, a rainwater collection and purification system, and composting toilets, as well as having space for livestock and arable crops. In addition to this, the refuge itself will be made from reclaimed materials collected post-quake with help from Natural Build Ltd., making the building a zero carbon construction.
As if you needed any other reason to show these guys support? Find them on Facebook, give their page a like and a share, and please donate any money that you can to help the people of Nepal.