The twin earthquakes in Nepal have been devastating, with huge loss of life, infrastructure and homes. Nepal was already the 16th poorest country in the world.
Emergency aid from the UK has been provided with great generosity by the British public – £23m by 6 May – but the second earthquake has made the challenge even greater. You can read more about the UK aid effort here.
Below is information about 3 different ways of giving support to the Nepalese people: the general DEC appeal, a more targeted appeal through Reall (formerly Homelessness International), and very localised support for the village of Khiraule, for which our friend Richard Crossley fundraised before his death last year, having visited and walked in the country.
The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) represents the big international charities that undertake emergency relief work and co-ordinates their fundraising. They receive financial donations but can also handle donations to help meet immediate requirements such as food tents blankets and medical equipment. Their donation website is here.
REALL (formerly Homeless International)
Formerly known as Homeless International, Reall – or Real Equity for All – is a UK-based international development charity dedicated to alleviating bad housing conditions across the developing world. It was established in 1989 by the social housing community in the UK and has a focussed approach to tackling the problem of slums. It works through partner organisations in Africa and Asia which have their roots in poor communities, helping to build self-reliant and sustainable enterprises.
LUMANTI was established in 1993 and works with poor communities across Nepal to improve housing and basic services, establish community-based finance schemes and influence government policies around slum upgrading. Reall’s partnership with LUMANTI helps it to expand its work on the ground to benefit even more poor people and to influence national policies affecting slum dwellers and the urban poor. We are working closely with LUMANTI to help it find cost-effective, replicable and sustainable solutions to Nepal’s urban housing issues.
Donations to Reall for LUMANTI will directly support them in their work to rehabilitate and reconstruct homes and villages across the country. They are a permanent organisation and will be there after the international relief effort withdraws.
When the international spotlight has moved on from this tragic disaster, the people in Nepal will have very little in the way of support to rebuild the homes they have lost. Emergency relief provides much needed immediate support, however the money does not go towards the rehabilitation of a country so devastatingly hit. We build earthquake resistant houses and infrastructure, and our work with Lumanti will ensure long term support for the communities we work with. In the next two to three months, we will coordinate with Lumanti the work that emergency relief does not fund. We will be out in the field, assessing the damage and providing financial and organisational support to help rebuild people’s homes and lives.
As far as we can establish all the homes that have been built by Lumanti have been resistant to the earthquake. We want to be able to build more homes like this for the people that really need it.
Our friend Richard Crossley fulfilled a lifelong ambition to trek through Nepal three years ago. He struck up a great friendship with Lhakpa Sherpa from the village of Khiraule, and fundraised for the village when he returned home. Lhakpa and his family were unhurt by the earthquake and he joined a New Zealand rescue team to take aid into remote areas. He has asked for help to repair and rebuild the houses in Khiraule as he is aware that the Government of Nepal is unable to assist.
If you would like to donate in Richard’s memory, you can send cheques to Lhakpa’s wife, Pat Steel, at Barbondale Cottage, Barbon, Via Carnforth, LA6 2LS. The donations at this point are non-charitable but they are trying to change the objectives of the Khiraule Education and Health Project through the Charity Commission to cover the rebuilding work. Once this has been achieved the money raised can be transferred and become charitable. At that point they will ask donors to sign a Gift Aid form, so please make sure you enclose your full name and address.
The Khiraule Education and Health Project’s website can be found here.
You can read more background on Nepal on the DFID website.
Photos taken from Reall and Khiraule websites, and from Richard Crossley’s collection.