Visiting earthquake refugees campsites

A few days ago I went to visit earthquake refugees campsites. I did not know what to expect. I heard stories of heavily spread diseases due to horrible living conditions. I have also been told that the conditions were poor but that NGOs were quite successful at fulfilling basic needs to everyone.

So I visited 3 campsites in Langtang area. These campsites hosted about 100 families each. One was significantly worse than the others: very crowded, using tents (the others had iron shelters) and they were washing their dishes on a small tap on the roadside. All had toilets and drinking water. One had a common house with TV and a fridge. One provided garden and poultry farms (I heard that the people there were actually renting their spot).

But none of these campsites offered a future to these families. They are temporary places for people who lost everything, waiting to be kicked out. We were lucky enough to discuss with one of the community representative who gave us the critical number, the price for buying a future: 4’000$ US per family to get a land to cultivate and a house. In Nepal a good job in Kathmandu rewards 300-400$ a month. So all these families are now focused on finding how to get this money in a country with significant unemployment rate: the husband could go to Qatar or other foreign countries to find a job. They can ask their relatives for financial support. Or they can just wait and see.

Since I am here I have been thinking and discussing a lot about Nepal’s and more generally developing countries’ issues and their solutions. Finally I decided to pick one of them and contribute my little part to it: improving education.

Why improving education will help earthquake victims a lot?

Because education is the key to get a decent salary around here that would let them rebuild their collapsed houses on the long term. For 25’000$ you can build 5-6 houses to help a couple families getting back comfortable living conditions by the end of the year. Or you can build a school with 7 rooms and provide education to more than 200 students every year,  which will help around 100 families getting a relatively good income to rebuild their houses themselves in 10-15 years, plus 100 more families every following year.

So, in my opinion,  education is one of the key to efficiently support Nepal’s relief.

My parents, myself and a couple of friends have joined hands to collect 11’000$ to build a fully furnished library in a mountain high school. Right now we collected 5’400$ and so we are halfway on this objective.

If you are interested in helping us raising this money, you are most welcome to spread the word on your favorite social media or by donating to my personal bank account (see below). High Himalayan Community Projects Nepal, the NGO with which I collaborate on this project, will issue a donation receipt which may be eligible for tax deduction (no guarantee on that sorry). Unfortunately this NGO does not have a bank account in Switzerland, and transferring money directly to Nepal is a big mess with huge overhead costs (~10%) but we will bring the money cash to Nepal and avoid all overheads. Please send me a message after donating, this will help me keeping track of the process.

Thanks a lot for your support and continuous reading of my adventures. There is so much to say about everything I experience here. I hope I’ll find the time to write about all those things soon, otherwise I now have a fixed return date to Switzerland: 15th of December 2015. I’m really looking forward to see you all again!


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