Nepal Emergency Earthquake Relief
Organized by: Meadow Coldon
UPDATE 12/11/15: It has been almost 8 months since that first major earthquake shook in Nepal this year. Some members of the Puri family have begun work again, though it is scarce. Many children in the villages are now back in school. Rebuilding continues at a slow pace and many people around the country continue to live in tents beside their former homes. The Puri family ran a construction and carpentry business, but no one can afford to purchase building materials at this time. The cost of building a brand new home in Daduwa is $5,000; how amazing would it be if we could collectively give that to this family! Life will never be the same, and no one can forget the tragedy that occurred in April, but one thing we can do is comfort the hearts and minds of the people, and assure them that there are folks in the world who care about their well-being. Will you be the light for one family, providing them with the means to rebuild a new life?
In addition to all of this, a member of their extended family has been diagnosed with Leukemia. They are now put in an extremely difficult position where, what little money they have been able to make, is now being allocated not only for a new house and food, school fees for the children, but also to cancer treatment. This comes at a time where Nepal's new constitution has been met with anger from the Indian government, and in response, they have been cut off from supplies from that country. In the north, roads have been destroyed by the earthquake. This puts the Nepali people in a precarious position where all resources have become quite scarce.
I'd like to share with you a little more information about my friends, the Puris. Sushila, or Mama Puri, is a warm spirit and her love and devotion to her family is inspiring. Sister-in-law Sapana and her daughter, 4 year old Diyana are caring and move through their lives with light feet. Sapana is also a singer and has been featured on several albums in Nepal. She has put her career on hold to care for her daughter. Papa Puri is diligent and dutiful, masterfully conducting his woodcrafts, mending homes and allowing neighboring children to watch him work, occasionally letting them pitch in. Manisha is the youngest of the Puri children, at 13 now, and she has an unmatched enthusiasm for life. She is always dancing and singing, and hopes to be a nurse when she grows up. A joyfulness surrounds her wherever she goes and she is brilliant and adventurous. Rupak has worked as a trekking porter among other jobs, and loves living an active life. He currently works in Dubai, with his brother Dipak, sending money home in support of their family. Manju is the oldest daughter, and her passion in life is beauty. She is the former owner of a salon where she created a space for women (and some men!) to gather, laugh, drink tea and get a haircut, among other things. Aunt Muna Puri, is the former owner of a shop near the Pashupatinath Temple. She carried all kinds of things, from earrings and shoes, bangles and hair jewelry, to hair oil for men who come in asking to achieve that suave greaser look that is so in-style in Nepal right now. Then there is Grandma Puri, an incredibly humorous, good-natured woman. She cannot read or write, but she continues to teach her family, her legacy, by guiding them with her lived wisdom. Not only did this family welcome me into their homes and hearts, but also I put them in contact with one of my friends travelling in Nepal, and they did the same for her. This is the essence of love, not giving when you have abundance, but instead choosing to share no matter how little you have. In life, I believe you can choose your family, and the Puris are a part of mine.
This holiday season, make a donation if you are able. This family has been through the ringer this year. I care so deeply for them and by now, I hope you can see why.
UPDATE 6/10/15: Food, clothes, cooking supplies and more have arrived in Daduwa!
UPDATE 6/3/15: Including cash donations, we have raised $400 for the Puri family! They received the money today and are relieved and thankful to all of you wonderful donors! Family members working in Kathmandu right now are purchasing food and warm clothes to send to the village. It is now the rainy season and 2 family members have fallen ill. It is so important to keep nutritious food and warm, dry clothes. Thanks so much everyone, lets keep it going!
UPDATE 5/12: Today, another earthquake hit Nepal, this time with a magnitude of 7.3. My friends living there tell me that there is a sad and frightened uncertainty and I wonder when the people of Nepal will be able to relax and begin to rebuild. For now, top priority is food, water and shelter, as they begin to move in to the rainy season. In the small village where my friends live, school principal Santa Ghimiray has expressed concern for the welfare of his students. "They want to learn," he has said, "but they are also frightened" and with no school, there is nowhere to teach them. If you are able to, please make a donation to this community in the district of Sindhupalchok. My friends have been badly affected by this, and your help is endlessly appreciated.
UPDATE 4/29: I awoke this morning to this message from Manju's brother: "You know now in my village no have anything all of the shop also broken no have any food. I can't mange now I don't know what I do. Meadow if you can help plzzzzzzzz our family my family now outside road no have. I'm also try here I didn't fine now I try continue I hope n belive you you help me n my family" Your help is greatly appreciated.
The people of Nepal have been brave and strong in the midst of the recent earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. All the funds raised here will go directly to one extended family, who lost their home and all of their belongings in the disaster.
Manju Puri and Ramesh Giri are newlyweds living in Kathmandu, Nepal. Saturday, their lives were changed forever by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that destroyed their home and crumbled their city. I met the Puri family three years ago, while traveling, and they warmly welcomed me into their home. I got to know their family, and we seemed to adopt one another. Making a living has always been a struggle for them. Manju’s mother, father, younger sister, sister-in-law and niece all live in a small village in the district of Sindhupalchok. Brothers Rupak and Dipak live in Dubai and work to send money home to their family. Manju and Ramesh live in Ghaurighat, a suburb of Kathmandu and also work various jobs to add funds to the communal supply of money. For a family who by no means lives in excess, losing everything they did have is difficult to imagine.
I have set up a Crowdrise fundraiser to raise funds for the Puri family. If you are interested in supporting this family directly, and helping them recover from this vast tragedy, donations of any kind are encouraged.
On my most recent visit to Nepal, I had a conversation with Manju about the different ways Nepalis and Americans view money. While Americans tend to feel that they personally own all that they have earned and worked for, Nepalis earn and work for the community as a whole. They don’t own their money, but instead take what they need when they need it, and share it to everyone in need around them. By giving directly to this family, I know that it will benefit an entire community of people who have also been left with nothing.
Your generosity is much appreciated!