On April 25th just a few hundred kilometres away from Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu a magnitude 7.8-8.1 earthquake shattered the ground, homes and hearts of millions.
The event has devastated many of us in the Valhalla community, as well as our network of friends in the Mountain Country.
I was in my room, working on my laptop, when the bed started to shake. At first I thought it was a heavy vehicle on the street, but then the bed started slamming against the wall. The walls started cracking and the ceiling was falling in. I looked at my mother who was also in the room and she screamed, Run! We could only fall as we made our way out, the stairs would sway from side to side. Today I’m pretty beat up, I have bruises everywhere.
-Lauren Remedios (Director of M&E, Barefoot College)
Like the entire population of Kathmandu, for 3 days Lauren lived on the streets before she was able to fly back home. She experienced 52 aftershocks during that time scaling between 4.9-6.0, causing most of the fallen buildings.
Today, Nepalis are still living in whatever encampment they could find. Water and food are scarce, death tolls keep increasing (now 7,000) and people continue to be found under the rubble. Lauren witnessed the Indian Government helping “in full force, the Airforce organized massive flights for women and children to get back from their pilgrimage. The EU nations where also very active, however; there were no direct signs of Canada or USA anywhere…”
We have deep ties with the buddhist faith community of Nepal. Having trained our first Barefoot Solar Engineers from the village of Namo Buddha and created close ties with our longstanding partner, Matthieu Ricard, founder of Karuna Shechen, writer, monk and french translator to his Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama.
Our doctors and medical staff have been mobilized and are working around the clock to address emergencies in different parts of the city.
Shechen Monastery compound is now a shelter and medical first aid centre for anyone needing such assistance. Food and water are being provided by the Monastery to the thousands of people that have been sheltered there.
– Karuna Shechen
Many of us may be limited in helping our Nepali brothers and sisters, we can send money and we can listen to the daily updates and we can hope. By land we are 1000s of miles apart, but by Heart we are right there, infinitely entangled in the sorrow that comes from loosing so much.
Empathy is what connects us, it is what empowers us to keep moving forward because it gives us the strength of love.
A Prayer For Nepal is imperative because -like any symbol or brand- it unites us with a feeling of hope; that we are not discrete separate beings but rather members of an extended family, a Global Family, who want to see our brothers and sisters from the mountains Thrive!
As I’ve been writing this, I’ve stopped on many occasions to observe the space and time that sits before us. They are not alone, because I too feel their pain and soon I know I will also share their triumph.
When disaster strikes, crisis brews but opportunity shall prevail. The opportunity to prove that we care more than ever about the state of our global welfare is testimony to our evolving species. Here are two easy ways of helping – suggest others in the comments below.
Solidarity! share #PrayerForNepal:
(Photo by Adrien Pagès)
(Photo by Christian Ortiz)
(Photo by Vincent Lee)
Contribute dollars to the place it matters most to you:
The above charities have been hand selected by the Valhalla Team as honest, grassroots organizations that don’t waste time or resources. We vouch for them.