Providing initial relief assistance in Nepal is far more difficult than a simple transfer of money.
While Partners International Canada transferred over $5000 to Good Friends of Nepal within the first two days following the earthquake, it became clear that purchasing initial relief materials would be a little more difficult. The bank system in Nepal did not have the physical cash to back their account balances and as a result money withdrawals were limited. To add to the problem, many markets in Nepal had closed, making it difficult to purchase the tools to survive.
Fortunately, God’s blessings are continuous and amazing.
One of our partners located in India, Duars Rural Development Program, has been able to secure transportation to journey across the border into Nepal where they have met with Bhim Lal to provide relief materials as well as physical cash. It is an incredible blessing that shows God’s presence and how he cares for His people, even amongst tragedy and loss.
Members of Duars were able to travel into Kathmandu, where they were able to connect with Bhim Lal to provide 210 tent pieces, 2 water purifiers and a solar powered cell-phone charger. They also brought dry food such as rice and Bhim Lal has confirmed that there is also now food available within Kathmandu as the markets begin to reopen. This act of partnership has allowed Good Friends of Nepal to ensure that all of their orphans are supplied with food and drinkable water. With GFN able to care for the orphans, Bhim Lal can begin to focus on reaching the rural communities of Nepal.
While Kathmandu continues to struggle, the majority of the aid is centered within the city. In rural regions of Nepal, there remains destruction and loss with no aid in sight. Our partners at Duars have reported that there are many Christian villages where no aid and no media have gone. In these villages, nearly all of the houses have collapsed or are now unstable, forcing people to evacuate their shelter and spend nights outside. With no supply of shelter and tents, people in the villages are sleeping under trees.
With no place to go to the bathroom, many are using the outdoors in open places resulting in unsanitary conditions bringing with it the threat of disease. They also lack consistent access to clean food and water. In many cases, it is difficult for relief agencies to reach these villages, and so many are left to fend for themselves.
It is in regions such as these that an organization like Good Friends of Nepal is necessary. With their local knowledge of the area they are able to be the first to help those who have not yet been helped. Many of the regions have national workers and Churches involved with Good Friends of Nepal and as Bhim Lal begins to find stability, his team can begin to reach those who have not been reached, showing the love of God through acts of service.
There is much to be done in these communities. Initial relief may help them recover in the short term, but the pressing need will quickly become the rebuilding of their homes. Monsoon season continues to approach and almost all of these villages lack the shelter to protect themselves from the rains. Partners International Canada is directly focused on being able to help during this time. Once the immediate recovery from the earthquake is achieved, long-term help becomes necessary. We are committed to helping those affected rebuild not only their homes, but to rebuild their lives as well.
Recovery from a tragedy such as this cannot be achieved in only three weeks. Long-term, sustainable development is a must if Nepal is to recover. Good Friends of Nepal will become a key organization in rebuilding Nepal as it continues to shine the light of God amongst the darkness of loss and despair.