Friday, 1 May 2015

Nepal Needs Your Help

PLEASE READ TO THE END TO FIND LINKS TO DONATE.

As someone who visited the beautiful country of Nepal just last summer, it has hit me especially hard with what is happening right now in the aftermath of the earthquake. I am sure you have seen countless news article and photographs all over the internet, TV and newspapers and heard about how it is the worst earthquake they have had since 1934. The awful pictures of houses and landmarks crumbled to a pile of broken bricks are actually almost too much for me to handle. I keep seeing new ones surfacing, and it is the photos of the places that I have visited that are the hardest to look at. Knowing I have stood in the exact spots where they were taken and have my own photographs to prove it is heartbreaking.

I will never forget the feeling that I got as soon as I heard the news. My first thought was that I hope the friends I made there are all okay. There's the Nepali guides I spent three weeks with and can now proudly call my friends (I even have them on Facebook). There are the teachers and pupils of the Shree Mahendra school in Bhaktapur, one of the worst affected areas, including the young girl that made me the friendship bracelet that I still wear today. That school was already in really poor condition, and now it will be even worse. The kids that were trying to get an education to better their lives will now struggle. There are the hotel workers that greeted us, the waiters and waitresses that catered to our needs, the shop owners that tried to make as much money as possible out of us to feed their families, and the people I simply passed in the streets. Each one of those people has been affected, in some way or another. The reality is that some of them are probably no longer alive. 

I am grateful for Facebook's new feature that allows people to check in as 'safe'. So far, all of my friends but one have said they are alive. My teacher that came with us last year has emailed the company we went with to ask about the last one, and the school. One thing that I can't believe is when one of them managed to get internet for a short period of time, messaged me saying 'hi'. That was all. I replied back saying the same, scared to ask what was happening. Then he asked me how I was. HOW I WAS. Never mind the fact that I have just been in one of the worst affected areas, Holly, and I know people that have died, but how are you? Can you believe that? The people of Nepal are the kindest, most thoughtful people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. They are poor, and they don't have much, but they are always thinking of others.

Here are two photographs that I took of the ancient Durbur Square in Bhaktapur, near Kathmandu, last July.







And this is it now.


Below is a photograph of my friends and I in a place called Monkey Temple, a sacred place for monks. Following it is a photograph of it now after the earthquake struck.




Of course, I planned on donating, but it was a video that I saw on Facebook that kicked me into action. It showed two of my friends carrying stretcher after stretcher (and by this, I mean a few planks of rickety old wood) of cloth-covered bodies down to the river for what I presume was a mass funeral. That is what really made me understand the true extent of the issue. I am not going to lie to you here, I cried my eyes out after watching that video.

There is not much we can do at the other side of the world from this disaster, but you can donate. Even if it is just a couple of pound, anything you can afford will make a difference. It will be a couple of pound more than they had. If you can spend £10 on a new foundation, £30 on a new pair of heels or over £100 on a pretty designer handbag, you can spare a few pounds to  help those who are really in need. Think about it. Which is more useful? The bag, or the people?

I am currently in the process of raising money in conjunction with the others that came with me on my visit and my school to send to the school we helped in whilst we were there. Money is desperately needed to fund the regeneration of the country in the long term, but for now the priority is food and medical care. You just need to look at the second photograph in this blog post to see the queue of people waiting for food. There is very little clean water, leading to life threatening diseases such as cholera and dysentry. The people who did manage to survive are now starving and homeless. 

Please give generously.

To donate, follow any of these links.

UNICEF (specifically for helping children)
Red Cross

View more of my photographs of how Nepal used to look here.

2 comments

  1. phoebe davies2 May 2015 at 09:25

    Brillant post! Me and my family have already donated. So good of you to include this on your blog :) Times like these I realise how lucky I really am x

    Phoebe | Phoebe’s Diaries

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! I'm so glad to hear that you have donated, it is definitely something that I feel so strongly about because I have visited and seen how the country was struggling before, only for it to be even worse now. We are definitely very lucky not to experience these kind of things, it just makes me appreciate things that we have all the more x

    ReplyDelete

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