Nepali Fishermen Families
Organized by: Lauren Leve
It's been two months after Nepal's first massive earthquake. Nepal is out of the news cycle (understandably replaced by other horrible, and wonderful, events). However, there is still tremendous suffering and need. A close Nepali friend of mine (going back 20 years!) has committed to helping 135 families in a village in Sindhupalchok district (one of the most affected areas, about 60 km east of Kathmandu). Because this village is a distance from the road, it has received very little aid up to now. All of the houses in the village were badly damaged, and also the school. And because almost all of the villagers are hereditary fishermen, who are now unable to work because the government has banned fishing in the area due to all the deaths upstream, they are suffering immensely.
The families have managed to construct temporary shelters (which is important since the monsoon has started in full). However, after visiting there and consulting with the villagers, my friend has determined that they are in urgent need of mosquito nets, rice seed (it is planting time and otherwise there will be no harvest in the fall), cotton mattresses (they are sleeping directly on the ground without any padding or protection at all), light blankets, and buckets to collect and store water. The school requires zinc sheets (to provide a durable ceiling and protect from the rain), plastic pads (for the kids to sit on, on the ground but dry), and teaching materials (books, pencils, paper and some games). The total cost of all of this, including transporting the materials from Kathmandu, will be just under $3200 (31,187 NRP). I'd be happy to provide a detailed breakdown or more information for anyone with questions.
Because this is an effort being done by a group of friends, rather than an official organization, donations will not be tax deductible. But I can attest that every penny I receive will go to these villagers and their children's school. (This crowdfunding site says it takes an average of 3% of donations for their admin and support services, and up to 8% unless you tell it not to do so. But even that is comparatively pretty good.) Everyone involved in this effort is Nepali (other than me) and we are working as volunteers so there are no consultant fees, hotel costs, administrative overhead, etc. If you've wanted to help, but also want to be sure that your money reaches the most vulnerable people directly, this is an excellent opportunity.
I know many people have already given as much as you can (thank you!!). But I wanted to reach out with this specific cause in case there's anyone out there who wanted to donate but didn't do so immediately or perhaps is in a position to give a little more. As most of you know, I've been living and working in Nepal for the last 25 years. I was here for the April 25th earthquake and I am in Nepal now. I know the country well, including the impact of the disaster on different people and communities. These are especially vulnerable folks.
Thank you so much for helping to give some hope (a dry, functioning school, a bit of paddy seed) and minimum comfort to people who have lost everything, including their livelihoods.
PS- If I end up raising more than the $3200 requested, w'll either use it to give these people and their kids something more than the minimum or deploy it to help others with equivalent need (letting you know that that's what I'm doing and providing details). If you have any questions about this, please email me.