On April 25, a massive earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.8 struck Nepal near the capital city of Kathmandu. The death toll has climbed past 5,000, with another 9,000 injured in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years. Survivors are in desperate need of medical care, emergency shelter, clean drinking water and food. Disaster relief and medical services are being deployed from around the world to provide much-needed relief to the survivors.
Our ShiftWise experiences in Nepal
The news of the earthquake in Nepal has been difficult for me to process. After teaching English in a small village for three months and being surrounded by the happiest, most gracious people, it’s hard to grasp how much trauma and devastation they are experiencing. Nepali people are known for their hospitability and giving hearts and I experienced nothing less throughout my entire trip. After speaking with my friends in Nepal I’ve contemplated how I can give back to them during this immense time of need. Many have lost everything and are fighting to stay alive. What they need most right now is food, water, shelter and medical assistance. There are many relief organizations working to ease conditions in Nepal and help meet their basic needs. You’d be surprised how far your dollar will go, any amount will help!
A chance encounter five years ago led me on two trips to Nepal, and those visits changed my life. Nepal is an incredibly impoverished place where the average person lives on the equivalent of a few dollars a week. Despite all of that, the Nepali people are some of the most generous and hospitable people you will ever meet. From my first step inside the village of Khanal Tok I was treated like a family member. It was incredibly humbling. The people there have so little, but everything that they have they want to share. I’ll never forget how a family of four, with only one bed in their home, offered that bed to me for the night. And that was just one example of several kindnesses shown to me by the Nepali people. Before my trips I thought I understood what generosity was, but I learned the true definition of that word in Nepal.
Here is a list of some of the groups soliciting donations to support their efforts in Nepal:
The organization’s emergency response team is on the ground in Nepal, trying to provide critically needed medicines and supplies, including hygiene kits and water purification tablets, to survivors. Teams of doctors, nurses and logisticians will try to operate mobile medical units in the hardest-hit areas.
Handicap International has been working in Nepal since 2000 and has 47 volunteers on the ground distributing wheelchairs and other mobility aids, and providing help with rehabilitation and logistics.
ShelterBox delivers the essentials people need to begin rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of a disaster.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) is providing supplies such as water purification tablets, hygiene kits, tarps and nutrition supplements for children and families affected by the earthquake, as well as working with the government and other partners to meet children’s immediate needs.
Mercy Corps has been in Nepal since 2006 and has more than 90 volunteers on the ground trying to distribute water, shelter kits, mosquito netting, tarps, cooking utensils, hygiene materials and other household provisions.
Habitat for Humanity International
The group says its disaster response teams are coordinating efforts with local government agencies and disaster relief partners, and will be assembling emergency shelter kits.
Volunteers from the Nepal arm of the Red Cross are helping in the search for survivors.
United Nations World Food Program
The United Nations agency is providing food and other aid to survivors.
CARE is asking for donations for critical relief. The group said its humanitarian workers were on the ground assessing the situation in Nepal and determining the most immediate needs.
Donations to Save the Children, an organization with extensive reach in Nepal, will go toward efforts to provide protection for children and relief to their families.
The organization is sending eight teams of healthcare providers, including eight surgeons, to assist earthquake victims and distribute supplies.
International Relief Teams has already ordered a shipment of emergency medicines to be airlifted to Nepal, and is asking for donations to send more.
The Christian charity’s response includes basic necessities such as food, water and shelter.