THANK YOU to all who have given financial support or volunteer service hours to the LHA Nepal Aid Project!
LHA was honored to be welcomed into Nepali communities during the struggle to recover from two devastating earthquakes which took the lives of more than 8,000 people, injured tens of thousands more, and destroyed countless homes. It will be a long road to recovery for the people of Nepal. Every dollar raised and every volunteer service hour contributed goes a long way towards relieving suffering. The following is a summary of LHA’s Nepal Aid efforts thus far:
Monsoon Relief + Future Construction Materials
LHA Nepal Aid project manager Pema Chime oversaw the completion of early stage projects that happened prior to the monsoon. Monsoon season was in full swing when the second wave of LHA volunteers arrived in early July. In many outlying regions, homeless families had no shelter from the downpours. A small LHA monsoon relief team assembled quickly to help provide immediate shelter, in connection with the Dolpa Tulku Foundation, which provided villagers with sheet metal to use at first for emergency shelters, and later for the construction of permanent homes. With this particular project LHA supplied enough material to assist 110 families.
Village of Lukla, Mt. Everest Region
A referral from LHA consultant, Ven. Tsering Phuntsok, sent the volunteer team to the remote village of Lukla in Solu Kombu, where Ven. Lobun Jigme, a friend of LHA, is the abbot of a small monastery, social worker and ayurvedic medical doctor. The monastery is home to 17 monks all under the age of 18. They were sleeping in tents when we arrived; their dormitory and kitchen had been destroyed. Community leaders, a contractor, and builders helped us to determine the scope of work necessary to get the small monastery back up and running. Two community members agreed to donate additional land for expansion, and others agreed to support the labor. Some building materials had already been collected, and LHA purchased and transported the rest. LHA team members also hiked out to small communities nearby to determine what was needed most, and to offer ideas, plans, and some of the supplies needed to build earthquake-resistant, energy-efficient homes. 46 families received our help.
Collaboration with ASIA for the People of Yarsa
LHA was contacted by a representative of the Association for International Solidarity in Asia (ASIA), an international nonprofit working in Nepal since 1996. LHA joined ASIA to provide emergency shelters for the village of Yarsa in the Rasuwa District, which had not yet begun to receive aid other than food and medical supplies. LHA purchased sheet metal for 179 families. ASIA transported it and sent staff to teach how to use the materials most effectively. For information on ASIA’s work in Nepal, visit www.asia-ngo.org/en.
Langtang Community – Total Devastation
Kathmandu is spotted with makeshift tarp tent communities, as thousands seek shelter, like the people from a small village in the Langtang region, where 178 people died, many more were hurt, and every home and building plus most farms and livestock were destroyed. Survivors barely escaped with the clothes on their backs. Langtang community leaders asked LHA to supply shoes for the children and elders. The survivors included 256 children, many orphaned. A few children were still at the camp but most were spread out into different boarding schools across Kathmandu. The LHA team sought out survivors (and their shoe sizes!) and got new shoes for all 256 children and 17 remaining elders. In the process, the LHA team helped form a clear picture of exactly who survived and where they were, collecting data now available to other aid organizations planning to help this community. Katog Choling, who referred LHA to Langtang, is raising funds for Langtang and will help to rebuild. For information about Katog Choling and the Langtang Community, visit www.katogcholing.com.
Full Circle From New Orleans to Nepal!
Recalling that the government of Nepal sent $50,000 in aid to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, an LHA volunteer team organized and hosted a benefit in the botanical gardens of City Park to aid Nepal. The event, including music, food, cocktails, and an auction, raised more than $53,000! Click here for a short video about the success of this fundraiser. LHA continues working on earthquake relief projects as donations come in for Nepal.
Volunteering in Nepal/Permaculture
For anyone interested in studying permaculture and trekking in the Nepal Himalayas, LHA board member Michael Smith co-leads Nepal permaculture groups/courses which count as a 72-hour Permaculture Design Certification Course, accredited by Woven Earth, an Asheville, NC-based non-profit organization specializing in Permaculture design. The Kaligandaki Valley in the Annapurna region of the Nepal Himalayas provides real examples of integrated living systems and communities, and the program provides practical permaculture education and certification. Participants learn by working with communities including the Rainbow Children’s Home & Organic Farm, Prakriti Himal Permaculture Center, the Shree Jana Adarsh Secondary School, the village of Paudwar, and the Tibetan Refugee Settlement of Chhairo. The program includes daily yoga, hot springs, pilgrimages to Buddhist holy sites, and cultural lessons by elders in the community, Buddhist lamas, and traditional Tibetan medical practitioners. More information is available at wovenearth.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (LHA does not organize, coordinate or have affiliation and/or responsibility for this program. This opportunity is the full responsibility of the Woven Earth Organization.)
Corrugated metal sheltered the Nepalese during monsoon
season and will be incorporated into permanent
Young monks in the remote Mt. Everest region will
have their monastery and dormitories restored.
Transporting supplies: Project Manager Pema Chime.
Thousands of people seek shelter in makeshift tarp
communities which have sprung up in Kathmandu.
LHA helped to collect data used to locate and assist
earthquake survivors, including many orphans.
In 2016, this group worked with Asheville, NC-based nonprofit
Woven Earth to put permaculture concepts into practice in Nepal.