Lastest Update: May 29 2015, 1pm. Weeks to monsoon: 1.
Over 1 month has passed since the first of the hundreds of earthquakes experienced in Nepal. The generosity of our supporters has allowed us to extend our network of aid well beyond the immediate J4J families. We are now able to purchase roofing and food for entire villages at a time in some cases and have donated enough corrugated metal sheeting to house over 40+ families in various locations. You can always contact us if you have any specific questions or concerns that aren't answered here. So far, we have passed along about $9,000 to people in Nepal who use the funds to buy or build what they need.
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- Kamal, Jasper's father, left for Malaysia for work 1 week before the earthquake; this is a story we had not yet had time to share. He is worried sick about his family who are so far away and living in the streets of a ruined city. He is requesting 2 weeks off work to go back and help his family get safe accommodation, but it is doubtful he will be permitted this 'holiday'.
- Jasper, his mother Nanu, his teenage cousin Sobina, and both his maternal and paternal grandmothers are all together, sometimes with auntie Rita and uncle Santosh.
- Their room in a Kathmandu (Sanepa) building is NOT okay. The building has been evacuated, considered dangerous, and re-entry has not been permitted to retrieve personal items like clothing, cookware, toys, documents, etc.
- They have been sleeping outdoors since April 25 and have been unable to find any safe room to rent as so much housing stock has been ruined; they have moved further west to Kirtipur to set their tent up there in an open area.
- They are considering if it might be better/safer to move to either Resmi's village to the east or Kamal's village to the west - but both are also in the disaster area.
- We have not been able yet to obtain any photos from anyone in this extended family; but everyone is trying very hard to send some.
- Resmi's grandfather will meet with Rajan to purchase corrugated iron for roofing and siding to build two shelters for 18 people.
- Since the 2nd major, more eastern 'quake, the three adjacent extended family homes are no longer standing and are ruined/unsafe for occupation. Their food stores and personal belongings are buried in the rubble.
- Resmi's parents and grandparents and brother and other cousins and aunties and uncles are all in Khanigaau and unharmed.
- Road access to the village is open; trucks and buses have been able to access many areas. The access road to the village generally becomes impassable during monsoon, so this leaves ~3 weeks to deliver goods to the area with help of a vehicle.
- Residents of the area have now received emergency tents, we're not sure from whom.
- All residents (18 from Resmi's family's three adjacent homes) are living outdoors. Food is scarce and becoming an important issue. Shelter for the coming monsoon is critically needed.
- They apparently have access to electricity to recharge mobile phones. Their water access has always been from a spring; their water source has migrated to another location, but water is still accessible.
- Resmi is in the village with her parents and grandparents and extended family; her school is suspended for at least one month.
- Rajan emailed photos and a "report" made by his son, Suraz, from April 28 of his workers' and family's homes around Kathmandu. Click here to see his photos and report.
- Rajan's 6-year-old building is both his home and factory (more photos and info here). It is cracked but standing and the factory is, in theory, operational when electricity is on; power was intermittently restored to Rajan's home/factory as of April 30.
- The adjacent building is seriously damaged and more in danger of collapsing onto Rajan's building with every aftershock. As of May 15, Rajan has moved his family and any resident employees (the 3 men from the south) out of the building. The workers have gone back to the Terai, and Rajan has moved to Bhaktapur into a tent in a field away from buildings. He has asked the powers that be to demolish the crumbling building; until it has fully collapsed, he feels it is too dangerous on his narrow street. However, he is getting desperate to get back to work.
- Rajan is with his wife, Sunita and their two sons, Suraz and Sujan and his mother. They are sleeping outside in a tent in Bhaktapur.
- Sunita's mother's two homes in Chobar, and Sunita's 72-year old aunt's home, 10 km south, are all destroyed.
- Rajan's family home in the village of Katunje, 15 km east (near Bhaktapur) is destroyed; it was occupied by family friends. Rajan's aunt and Rajan's sister's home have collapsed. In his sister's village Keraghare, 45 of the 50 homes are destroyed.
- Rajan has now taken on the important job of "construction materials buyer and project manager"; he is purchasing corrugated metal sheeting, bamboo and nails and organizing construction labourers to begin the construction of many monsoon-proof shelters for all the J4J team and families around Kathmandu and Khanigaau. He is also our "J4J Community Liaison" between Jasper's and Resmi's families and us, as we don't have enough Nepali language to communicate logistical details.
Factory Workers (in Kathmandu and in the Terai, far to the south in the plains)
(Last call with Rajan May 19 10pm)
- We have heard from all 5 regular and 2 occasional or new workers: Suntosh, Sano (Small) Ganesh, Thulo (Big) Ganesh, Hajrat and Nuran. Masir and Sunil are occasional employees. Rajan also hires 3 women - 2 in his shop and 1 in his factory; they all lives in homes that have not been destroyed.
- Suntosh, 19, is living in a tent with his 4 sisters, 2 brothers and mother, all unharmed. He is the sole breadwinner in this family. Their home is ruined.
- Thulo (big) Ganesh is living under a tarp with his wife, mother and two children, all unharmed. He is the only person with an income in this family. Their home has collapsed. He is now building a monsoon-proof shelter.
- Sano (small) Ganesh is OK and is with his family. Their home has collapsed; he is now building a monsoon-proof shelter.
- Sunil is a relatively new factory worker from Kirtipur; his family now needs a safe shelter.
- Hajrat and Nuran live in the Terai (plains far south of Kathmandu) and were in their villages with family on the Saturday holiday. They are unharmed and their homes are OK. There is earthquake damage in the region, but nothing like in the KTM valley area.
- Occasional worker Masir is also from the Terai but was in KTM for the 'quake; he and his home/family are fine.
- The three men whose families and homes are OK want to begin work as quickly as possible; we have provided our 2nd jacket order for them to start working on as electricity and safety allows.
- Rajan hired one new person for 2 days to quickly come to the factory to sew 2 so-called "dining tents" for customers.
- We have not had direct contact with the Principal, but apparently the school is sound. The old school (that is fortunately no longer used) has crumbled to the ground.
- The news we'd heard about the school receiving 2 teachers via a Japanese donation turns out to be incorrect; this was in the works but fell through. Instead, the village school received some funds for 2 teachers and the villagers have to come up with the rest of their salaries.
- The school is currently closed to the more immediate emergency of the general need for shelter and food in the community.
- The principal, Sher Bahadur, was in Kathmandu at the time of our call, seeking aid for the village.
Jasper's School (in Kathmandu, near his home)
- Jasper's neighbourhood nursery school in Sanepa is fine structurally, but closed.
Resmi's School (Gyanodaya, in Lalitpur south edge of Kathmandu Valley)
(First correspondence with school May 16 9pm)
- We finally made contact with the school 3 weeks after the first major earthquake. Resmi's residence and the boarding school buildings are damaged but repairs are underway and they anticipate reopening in June.
- The day-school's building (where Resmi does not attend) has suffered quite severe damage and will not reopen; they are seeking funds and working on plans to figure out what to do for the day-school students.
- Resmi has gone to the village to be with her family.
- Saroj and his family and his home are all OK and he reopened his shipping office May 2 and is back to work with any of his 15 employees available to work (pending their family situations).
- He has successfully shipped our first cargo of the season.
- We have established an informal distribution system through him and his 15 employees who live around and outside the KTM valley. (many of their villages are destroyed). Saroj has access to warehouse purchasing of rice, lentils, water, and access to vehicles and has alread purchased and delivered over 2,400kg of aid supplies (photos here).
Our First Shipment of 2015/16
(For the information of people with a vested interest in its contents...)
- In a terrible coincidence of timing, our first cargo shipment (including Hollyburn cross-country ski team's custom order, our first samples of the 2015/16 season and jackets to complete all of our outstanding exchanges and unfulfilled purchases) was readied to ship the morning of the earthquake.
- We received our first shipment of the 2015/16 season on Friday May 9th. Slowly, we've been reviewing its contents.
- We will contact you about your jacket(s) in the next 2 weeks; we will show samples of new styles/sizes at the May 22 BBQ.
- Pramila is in Nagarkot and her two teenage children, Deepika and Dipendra are with since 2 days after the April 25 earthquake; they were at their school in Kathmandu.
- Her rented home has been so badly damaged that it is unsafe for habitation; the 2nd major earthquake damaged it further.
- She and her children and 5 others are living in their plastic garden greenhouse in the yard; hailstones from the weekend have pierced the plastic sheeting and it is no longer waterproof. They are cobbling together a small shelter.
- She has close family outside Nepal, in the US who are in touch. It sounds like Pramila and her children will retreat for the monsoon to the south (Chitwan area) to be with her parents, in the safety of the plains where there is relatively little earthquake damage.
- They claim to be relatively comfortable in the plastic greenhouse, but it will not suffice for monsoon.
- We have already turned $7,000 into direct, tangible aid: food, water, construction materials, tarps, mobile phone minutes, etc.
- We have been receiving donations via our web site from other people like yourself who are concerned about the extended "J4J family" in Nepal. Thank you; these donations have allowed us to provide immediate help on the ground in Nepal (newest info at bottom).
- On April 30, we wired the following:
- Emergency funds to Jasper's family for food and water, both of which have skyrocketed in price.
- Funds to Rajan to help his mother-in-law and aunt in the short term, both of whom have houses that were destroyed.
- After discussion with Rajan, we sent the equivalent of 3 weeks' wages to his employees who are currently out of work and who lost their homes.
- We sent 1.5 weeks' wages to his employees who will resume working as circumstances allow on May 3, but who still have their homes.
- May 11 we wired funds to Rajan to begin purchasing construction materials: corrugated iron sheeting, bamboo lumber and nails. He has also started working with two builders. The goal is 10 monsoon-proof shelters. Most labour will be provided by the men and families who have lost their homes - in Khanigaau and in and around KTM.
- As of May 12 (just prior to the 2nd large earthquake), Saroj purchased and delivered over 2,000kg of food (rice, lentils) and blankets to his employees' communities around KTM valley.
- May 12 we remotely recharged mobile phone minutes for Jasper's mom and dad (who are now sadly in different countries from one another) and Resmi's grandfather in the village - all of whom are calling each other and everyone else in the family several times a day.
- May 13 we wired funds to Resmi's grandfather for the purpose of purchasing food and other needed items in the village - with homes having collapsed on their food stores, clothing and other personal belongings, people are desperate to shop before the monsoon closes road access.
- May 13 we wired funds to Nanu, Jasper's mother for rent, clothing and cooking items as all were abandoned in the damaged building they rented in. Fingers crossed she can find a room; she has headed to Kirtipur to try find accommodation there.
- May 14, Rajan purchased corrugated sheet metal for 4 shelters and loaded them up into a truck for delivery.
- May 17, Rajan has purchased bamboo for 2 shelters. Sano and Thulo Ganesh have started construction which is proceeding quickly.
- May 19, Rajan and his sister will be purchasing enough corrugated metal for roofing 45 new shelters to replace the destroyed homes in Keraghare, his sister's village. The villagers will use salvaged materials from the rubble and bamboo to make walls.