More than 5,500 people died and over 11,000 were injured in the devastating earthquake that struck the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal on Saturday 25 April. The UN estimates that more than eight million people have been affected by the 7.8-magnitude quake and some 70,000 houses have been destroyed. Severe aftershocks have hampered relief efforts and villages remain cut off from outside help. Here VOX magazine brings updates from Irish Christian aid agencies with details of how you can respond with prayer and financial assistance. Read updates from Team Hope, Tearfund and Christian Aid below along with details of the Habitat for Humanity response and watch for news from other agencies in the coming days.
News from Team Hope
A message directly from Team Hope’s partners in Pokhara, Nepal
“Its raining – all wet, no food. Fighting for food now, fighting for umbrellas. Children are starving…. Yet we are doing our best to help and witness and share His Love. We want to bring hope to hopeless and help to helpless whatever we can to help and witness Christ’s love…….. It’s really tough here, so sad to see the disaster. Hard to imagine this devastation, oh so terrible …”
Team Hope has worked with partners on the ground for nine years now, reaching directly in to the poorest and most needy communities in Katmandu, Pokhara and Lamjung (where aid still struggles to reach). Now, there’s an immediate need for food, clean water and shelter.
We’ve already transferred some funds to help with the most urgent needs. Time is vital for the many thousands that struggle each day. Starving without food and water we need to get to them rapidly. Struggling to survive on the streets in the rain while being afraid to move back in to what are badly damaged or destroyed homes. We need to get them some shelter before more rains come.
How to donate via Team Hope
Your help is so important to us, in whatever way you can. Through our secure on-line system at www.teamhope.ie by phone to 01 2940222 - or by post to the Team Hope office address, Leopardstown Business centre, Ballyogan ave. Carrickmines, D 18.
News from Tearfund
Tearfund is responding to Saturday's earthquake in Nepal. Our partners are trained in emergency response and are trekking over landslides and mountains to find communities no one will else will have reached. It will be a week before the full scale of the disaster is clear. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world at the best of times, but this earthquake has brought the country to its knees. We urgently need your prayer and donations.
How to donate via Tearfund
A gift of €50 will provide a family with a months supply of food and cooking utensils. You can donate online at www.tearfund.ie/donate or contact the office on 01 878 3200. Please pray for speedy and effective rescue efforts to reach those who are trapped in destroyed buildings. Pray for those affected, for comfort for those who are pulling loved ones out of the rubble. Pray that those who have been injured that they will receive treatment quickly.
News from Christian Aid
Tired and hungry, the survivors of the deadly Nepal earthquake urgently need clean water, food, shelter and medical care. It's winter and it's cold out there.
Hundreds of thousands of people continue to sleep outdoors, too scared to return to their shattered homes for fear of aftershocks. More than 6,200 people have now been reported killed and almost 14,000 injured.
Christian Aid’s partners are responding in the worst affected areas of Gorkha and Kathmandu Valley. We have a team on the ground, led by a doctor, which is providing medical care and first aid – treating cuts, bruises, fractures and lacerations, and dealing with cases of diarrhoea and abdominal pains. The other big priority our partners are dealing with is the need for clean drinking water. Ten water filtration units, each of which can provide 1,500 litres of purified water per hour, are en route to make-shift camps and villages. One million water purification tablets are also being distributed along with 5,000 tarpaulin sheets for affected families.
Please donate at christianaid.ie or telephone (01) 496 7040
- €20 could provide a week of cooked meals for two people living in a relief camp.
- €34 could buy a water-proof cover offering temporary shelter for a family of five.
- €200 could buy a weather resistant tent for one family
News from Habitat for Humanity
VOX reader Julie Carvill has asked us to share about the work of Habitat for Humanity in bringing shelter to the people of Nepal. Julie writes, "HfH Ireland was one my clients until a few years ago where I was their Finance Manager. In that role, I met many from HfH International and from HfHs in other countries. What is so good about Habitat for Humanity is that their whole business is housing, so when disaster strikes, they are uniquely placed to provided needed shelter. There is a local HfH in nearly every country, including Nepal, and their Disaster Response Teams are highly trained to go into such situations.
"Before they get to the stage of real building, one of their key tools is their Emergency Shelter Kits, which give families the wherewithal to get under basic cover immediately. Then later in some disasters they do things like build lots of one room dwellings which are designed so that they can later have two additional rooms added to make a proper family home. And I love that HfH always works with the families, giving them the dignity of contributing labour to their own home - a hand up not a hand out!