Continue helping Nepal

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Continue helping Nepal

By Iris C. Gonzales


A woman from Singla takes her things from the remains of her home. Asian Development Bank under a Creative Commons Licence

It is 2 months since I visited Kathmandu, Nepal and 3 months since the April earthquake there.

But months after the disaster, Nepal still needs help.

The Philippines saw this after Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. In the months after a disaster, help gets less and there is less attention from the world. So it is very important to continue to give.

In Nepal, people were worried, so they created the online Red Tree project ( I learned about it when I visited Nepal in May. Red Tree was set up to help the most vulnerable victims of the earthquake. It is related to a similar local project, the With Love project. This gives food packages to mothers and new babies.

Dipti Sherchan, one of the people who started Red Tree, says it tries to support communities that people do not notice. These mostly did not get any help after the earthquakes. The Red Tree website says it was set up to help the most vulnerable victims – people from the “untouchable” Dalit caste, families led by women and single-mother families. The website also says it helps pregnant and postnatal women and their children who need food and medical help.

Red Tree gives different types of help. For example, it gave 3 months’ rent to a single mother so she could move into a house with no damage.

Another woman, Lediya, got pneumonia and Red Tree paid for her trip to the doctor and for her medicine.

The project has helped a 15-year-old Dalit boy to move from his village to study and not have to leave school to get a job. He has arrived at a boys’ hostel in Kathmandu and will soon start school.

Red Tree also gave 10 bags of rice to the Humanitarian Concern Center, an orphanage in northern Kathmandu. This orphanage is run by the Dalit community, and looks after 21 Dalit children who have no parents. The Red Tree website says they are raising money to help Humanitarian Concern Center build their own housing. Before the earthquake, their landlord asked them to move. So they bought some land in the same area. The house they are in now has also been damaged by the earthquake, so they really need to build their own center.

Dipti Sherchan says that With Love will also continue if people with accurate data come to them.

'The earthquake showed the big differences between different communities in getting help and rebuilding,' she says. The group is now raising money for this.

Oxfam has said that after the earthquake, tens of thousands of people are still living outdoors in tents, as the monsoon gets worse. There is not enough food and getting help is difficult because of the rain and floods. Oxfam (based in the UK) told the international community to continue supporting the Nepalese government to help rebuild the country and make it stronger to face future disasters.

On 25 April, the earthquake killed more than 8,700 people and almost 800,000 homes were damaged or completely destroyed. Rebuilding cannot be immediate, but it can be soon if Nepal gets enough help. Then the Nepalese can rebuild their homes and their lives.

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).