It was one year ago today that the worst earthquake in over 80 years hit Nepal. About 9,000 lives were lost, and 20% of families were displaced from their homes. Destruction was beyond belief. Thankfully, there were no lives lost in the district of Khotang where D2N works. However, all the schools in the villages where D2N works were destroyed, 20% of the locals were also displaced from their homes, and many toilets were destroyed. The country has also been devastated by a several month blockade of all goods coming in through the Nepal-India border, making recovery from the earthquake that much more difficult.
The Nepalese are resilient, proud, and resourceful. Despite what would seem to be overwhelming obstacles, they have rallied their communities to provide housing for all. They have constructed temporary learning centers so their children can go to school. They have rebuilt their toilets. And they have organized committees to form proposals to present to D2N so that we may have the honor of assisting in their rebuilding process.
These actions serve as a lesson as well as an inspiration to all of us.
D2N handles earthquake relief the same as all their activities in Nepal. Like all D2N projects, we rely on the locals to identify their priorities, form appropriate committees to create a proposal and budget, and then the local communities see these projects through.
We are already building the first three of nine schools with earthquake-safe technology (see pictures below) and are working on contracts for a 10th school. We are completing are second medical clinic (health post) and will have our first birthing center in the area open for business by summer. Our first library has been established since the earthquake, and we currently have 128 girls and 3 boys on scholarship.
I thank everyone in the D2N Family who has supported us since the earthquake and over the past five years. Please come out and join us for our annual fundraiser “Over The Edge Detroit” May 6th and 7th. If you want sign up to rappel, please enroll at our website overtheedgedetroit.com. If you would prefer to remain on the ground you may donate to “Team Jeffrey” at overtheedgedetroit.com.