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Relief for Nepal: Update June 3rd

A Nervous Tension Hangs in the Air

The quaking of the earth stops after a minute or two but the fear in people’s hearts and mental anxiety to find safe and secure living conditions lingers still…

Aftershocks abounding in the aftermath of the recent earthquakes have left many survivors—even the fortunate few living in secure, undamaged houses—with frayed nerves and faint hearts. Every quivering leaf or tree branch, every creaky floorboard or random noise raises the prospect of yet another earthquake, aftershock or the collapse of yet another damaged building. People are poised to run outside the moment there is even the hint of any kind of rumble. But strong winds and rain pose major challenges for people living in tents. And those challenges are likely to worsen as the monsoon season approaches.

Coping with Loss and Hoping for a Brighter Future at the Lydia Training Centre

Most of the 11 students at Lydia Vocational Training Centre who lost their homes in remote villages of Nepal during the earthquake, have visited their villages and returned to Lydia to complete their training. Graduation ceremonies are scheduled for June 14, 2015. Each of the women suffered traumatic losses but are learning to cope and are currently devising their post-graduation survival strategies.

Mrs. Jabita Basyal, Ms. Manju Urkati, and Mrs. Rita Khadga all lost their homes completely, but their family members were uninjured and are living in tents.

Ms. Pipalu Damai lost her sister (40-years-old) as well as her house. Mrs. Shushma Parjuli lost five family members (her older brother, 36, her nieces 5,11 and 14 years old, her nephew, 7, and their houses.

Mrs. Kabita Sharki decided to withdraw from the program to take care of her family. None of her relatives was injured, but they are still struggling to find temporary shelter. Mrs. Shusmita Shakya also decided not to return to complete her training for similar reasons.

Ms. Sundari B.K., Ms. Roshani Tamang, Mrs. Prasansha Shrestha, and Ms. Ram Kumari Praja also lost their houses and have no permanent places to live. Their families are currently living in their villages, in tents. They are making plans to move to other villages, in the hope of finding more secure protection from the wind and rains of the coming monsoon season. But floods, landslides and a lack of emergency relief supplies are limiting their options.

At graduation each woman receives a sewing machine which, under normal circumstances, many of them use to start their own business and support their families. Now that they have no homes, they are making arrangements to store the machines with relatives or friends or in their churches until they have found a viable recovery strategy. People who still have the land on which their houses were built may be able to erect semi-permanent shelters. However, people who lost their land as well as their houses will likely be waiting indefinitely for government assistance. (At present, the government has decided that people who have not yet received relief assistance from any source and can prove that they were victims of the earthquakes will receive 15,000 Nepalese rupees ($150 US)—hardly enough for relief and definitely inadequate for recovery.

In the aftermath of this disaster, even though the tragedy is gradually disappearing from the newspages, your generous contributions to the Relief, Recovery and Redevelopment efforts are sincerely appreciated.


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