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First batch of relief support is distributed in Nepal

Just before noon, Nepal time on Saturday April 25th a portion of the earth’s crust more than 120 Km or 72 miles wide, traveled 3 meters or 10 ft. to the south. The journey took just a couple of minutes but for those of us on that piece of earth, the ride was most violent we are likely to experience.  Subhash Kattel and I, were facilitating two AVP Basic workshops in Kathmandu at the time, Subhash and his team were on the ground floor of a drug and alcohol recovery center. My team was on the fifth floor of a counselling center. We all crawled or lay on the floor until the ground reached its destination. Fortunately both buildings were sound and neither participants nor facilitators were hurt, although two participants walked the four hours back to their home in Bhaktapur (no transport was operating) to discover their homes were destroyed.

Pictures of Patan Durbar Hall, a UNESCO world heritage site, in Kathmandu one hour apart before & after the earthquake. Photo credit: Mohan Almal 25 April 2015

Call to respond. In the days following the earthquake, peace teams currently in Nepal struggled to come to terms with the best way to respond to the tragedy. The first question – should we respond now, or should we wait – was quickly answered. As humans and as friends, we must care for each other, especially if there are immediate needs for water, food, health, shelter and medical care. The answer to our second question – what can we do that the government and the big agencies cannot do better with more resources – also quickly became clear. Ever since the end of the civil war and the murder of the king of Nepal the government has been paralysed by corruption partisan politics.

Why us? Through our personal relationships, with no overhead, we are able to deliver all the contributions directly to a place of need without others’ taking a cut along the way, either in our office, along the route there or in local systems.

- John Michaelis

 

First batch of relief support is distributed:

Our group of 8 volunteers distributed the first batch of relief support in Koshidekha Village of Kavre district yesterday and today.

 

How we decided what to distribute?

First- we visited the devastated communities in the village, observed and scanned the situation on the ground, talked with the victims and community leaders.

Second- we had a consultation meeting in a school for about an hour with a few representatives of the communities, teachers including the head teacher, and a local health worker. The main objective of the meeting was to identify the most important need of the affected community at the moment. In this way, the meeting concluded with a decision of ‘what is important to support’ based on our affordability of that time. Past-president of Federation of Nepalese Journalist of Nepal, Mr. Bishnu Nisthuri supported us in this process from the beginning to the end.

 

Subhash talking with 'mothers with babies' who were gathered to collect their relief package. Standing on side with white shirt is local school teacher Mr. Uddav Kharel.

How we distributed?

Our volunteer group of 8 people purchased and gathered relief materials in Kathmandu, prepared 73 special packets for babies’ mothers and pregnant women, transported that material to the village by a truck. A group of our local contacts and friends were waiting for us in the community along with about 300 villagers. A local school teacher Mr. Uddav Kharel and few representatives from each communities volunteered to deal with the necessary allocation of the relief material based on the scale of devastation in respective community. Local health worker Mr. Prithbi Bahadur Shahi- who has information and contacts with infants’ mothers and pregnant women- took responsibility to coordinate special relief package to women at the local level through the health center. Along with relief material, we also had a group of 8 volunteers traveling from Kathmandu to help local people in the field for proper distribution.

 

 

What we distributed?

3450 KG of rice for about 370 families. The more proportion of rice was distributed to the hard hit communities- Kami Sarki Gaun, Jyamire, Kalinjor and Majhi Gaun (fishermen’s village). 5 sacks of rice was distributed only to 5 families who have physically disabled member.

73 special relief packages for mothers of small babies less than 10 months, and pregnant women. 

One package of ‘Mothers of Small Babies’ included: 1 kg of dry coconut, 1 kg of peanuts, about 1.5 kg of Mishree (sugar candy- helps to produce milk), 1.5 kg of daal/lentil, 1 set of baby cloth, 1 piece of outfit/cloth for mother, 1 petticoat, 1 liter of cooking oil, half kg of Jwano (Carom/thyme seed- helps to produce milk), a piece of sleeping mat, and rice.

One package of ‘Pregnant Women Relief Package’ included: 1 kg of dry coconut, 1 kg of peanuts, about 1.5 kg of Mishree (sugar candy- helps for instant energy), 1.5 kg of daal/lentil, 1 piece of outfit/cloth for mother, 1 petticoat, 1 liter of cooking oil, and rice.

35 sets of kitchen utensil for 35 families. The families who’s utensils are buried in the collapsed houses and could not take out were identified by our local contacts in advanced, and we purchased the utensils and supplied. A set of utensils included 1 rice/dal (lentil) cooking dish, 1 curry cooking dish, and three food plates.

 

Loading rice, kitchen utensils, and special relief package in a truck in Kathmandu to transport in to the village.

Expenses (1USD=98 Rupees)

Rice: USD 1,789.55

Special package for women: USD 1,202

Kitchen Utensils: USD 525

Relief Transportation via truck and logistics: USD 243

Motorbike petrol: USD 49

Total= USD 3808.55

 

Report submitted by Subhash Kattel

 

To donate to the relief work Friends Peace Teams is conducting in Nepal please visit our donation page under the Get Involved tab.

 

A view of Jyamire community, the lower part of the community is completely destroyed and the houses in upper part are unsuitable to live in.

Local Health Worker Mr. Prithvi Bahadur Shahi is trying to convince one of the mothers about why the special relief package was given to her.

One of the 'untouchable' families who received our support.