Nepal Earthquake Update: A Microcosm of Relief Efforts

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Written by Joy Ma

A week after the Nepal earthquake, relief efforts from small organizations to global charities are underway in Kathmandu and remote areas in Nepal.

aNewDomain — It has been almost a week since Nepal’s largest recorded earthquake struck the remote areas of Lamjung and Gorkha. Stories of miraculous rescues have surfaced, along with heart-breaking accounts of travelers’ experiences on Everest in the aftermath. Media from around the world has given a voice to our need to find rays of hope in this disaster.

Aid, supplies and rescue personnel are making their way into remote areas, but many are encountering delays because most flights first need to enter at Kathmandu. Kathmandu’s International Tribhuvan airport is currently stretched to capacity. It has just one runway which, in addition to heavy traffic in the city itself, makes it difficult for travelers and relief efforts to arrive and disperse.

There are many aid groups working in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, each trying to bring relief to as many people as they can.

Small Grass-roots Organizations Hold The Key to Relief Efforts

One group, an organization called Women for Human Rights, focuses on bringing aid to infants, new mothers and pregnant women. Women for Human Rights and its sister organization Chhahari has set up a kitchen and food distribution center. The group has a Facebook feed — #helpinanywaypossible — with updates and photos of volunteer activities. My niece Stephanie Ma is volunteering with Women for Human Rights in Kathmandu and sent me the photos in this article.

“We distributed food at Kokhana camp on the third day after the earthquake. On Saturday we will be going to Manakamana Village Development Committee in Nuwakot to distribute relief packages to more than 700 families that have been affected,” Stephanie wrote.

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In Kathmandu much of the devastation to property has yet to be cleaned up.

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Participating in Relief Efforts

I have family in Nepal and have had an outpouring of questions about how people can participate. The first weeks are the most critical. It is important to make sure you are donating to an organization that will reach those who need help the most. This blog from NPR offers a view of what it is like in the wake of a disaster.

Here is a list of some of the charities coordinating relief efforts. For a full list of organizations on the ground that are accepting donations, please read this article from CNN. And, after you donate, you may find your inbox full of spam. This CNN Money blog covers one way to keep your in-box spam free.

And if you are looking for a different way to help out, we received a note from The Nepal Gratitude Project which looks to emotional healing as well as physical healing.

For aNewDomain, I’m Joy Ma.

Image credits: Stephanie Ma and Women for Human Rights