Today marks exactly six months since Nepal was changed forever by a devastating earthquake that killed more than 9000 people, injured in excess of 25,000 and left hundreds of thousands of families and communities in despair.
At that time, the hearts of all those involved with BPM were instantly broken as the images of sheer destruction, physical and emotional pain began trickling in.
And just as they have since our inception, supporters from near and far dug deep into their pockets to rally around the communities we support in Nepal. In fact- the support was overwhelming, with over AUD $28,000 donated to the BPM Earthquake Relief Fund (ERF).
Now, after six long months we ask: How are they doing…?
It is with very big smiles and relieved hearts that we are able to report that the communities BPM deals with directly in Nepal are all – relatively – thriving…
- The Moonlight Community School in Kathmandu – which was eventually rattled to the ground by subsequent aftershocks throughout May 2015 – is on the verge of opening a new facility, funded (in part) by the generous donations of those involved with BPM.
- More importantly, in the harrowing months that followed the earthquake (whilst the majority of the nation camped on roadsides for fear of re-entering buildings), our support provided much-needed shelter, clothing, food and medicine to the children and families of the Moonlight Community School.
In Kerasawara village, part of the ERF was used to repair the Moonlight Community Healthcare Center- walls of which were cracked (but remained structurally sound) in the first quake.
- The Kerasawara community continues to go from strength-to-strength, with record numbers of children attending the daily Health and Hygiene Sessions, healthy babies being born regularly, a new Nurse/Health Assistant and final excavations (levelling) of the land completed surrounding the building.
- The Kerasawara Rescue Team continues to serve the community and build on their training and, in February 2016, our next major ‘project’ will be implemented- a dedicated Women’s Health Initiative~! (..stay tuned for more info soon!)
- On the BPM ‘home’ front, the Disaster Response Group (spawned as a result of our response to the earthquake) has continued to grow- securing much needed resources, completing ongoing training and nearing a ‘ready’ state for deployment (…again- say tuned!)
- And last- but definitely not least-…love is in the air!, with the announcement that our indispensable, unbelievably awesome Nepal Project Co-ordinator Sushant Dahal and long-time sweetheart Ashmita KC (our Volunteer Expedition Leader and Medical Interpreter since 2012), will marry in March 2016.
So…whilst there is no escaping the fact that Nepal is still struggling in the aftermath of the earthquake (made all the worse by Indian-imposed fuel sanctions, political squabbling and an encroaching winter), hope continues to bloom in that mystical country at The Top Of The World.
If you would like to donate, or become involved with BPM, please visit: www.backpackermedics.com