Liverpool unites for NepalFriday 1 May 2015
The local Nepalese community has joined in solidarity with the city’s universities and hospitals following Saturday’s devastating earthquake in Nepal, which has so far taken the lives of over 5,000 people.
Working with Liverpool’s Nepalese community of over 150 people, the group ‘Liverpool Unites for Nepal’ organised by a collective of staff and students including Liverpool Hope University, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, and a number of Nepalese doctors working in Liverpool, are organising a variety of events to raise much needed funds to help charities working in Nepal, and on a spiritual level, to pray for communities affected by the disaster.
A total of eight million people in 40 of the country’s 75 districts have been affected by the earthquake - the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal in 80 years. People urgently need clean water, sanitation, food, temporary shelter and medicines. Thousands more have been injured and hundreds of thousands have lost their homes and livelihoods.
Almost all historical monuments in Kathmandu have been razed to the ground, with schools, housing and infrastructure lying in rubble. Within 27km of Kathmandu Valley are seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, all of which have been damaged in some way, and three of them are now rubble.
The Himalayas, including Mount Everest, has experienced huge avalanches and landslides, killing climbers and Sherpa’s, with many more feared trapped on impassable mountain ranges. Aid groups working in the country fear the casualties are expected to be much higher after the remote regions are reached. The Nepalese government has declared a state of emergency and has asked people to evacuate their homes in the capital because of fear of disease and the problems caused by ongoing aftershocks.
Pranay Raj Shakya, Vice President Education Elect at Liverpool Hope Student Union, is from Nepal and is leading the fundraising efforts at Liverpool Hope University. For the last seven years, Pranay has worked with Rotaract clubs affiliated to Rotary clubs in Nepal, training young people in different parts of the country. He is now raising money to help Rotaract and other active youth organizations distribute food, tents, safety masks, medicines, water purifying tablets and more, which they have been doing since the third day.
Pranay said: “We knew that Nepal was in a high risk zone for natural disasters but nothing could have prepared the country for the extent of what has happened. Roteract members are on the ground, working with other partners and using their local knowledge to assist people in the more remote areas. I am extremely proud of them. From the pictures I have seen, there is a strong sense of communal effort. The main focus at the moment is on preventing hunger and disease, but there is a long road ahead and whole communities will have to start again from scratch. Every penny that people can donate will help in saving lives.”
Pranay is raising money for Rotaract's aid efforts via a Go Fund Me page, and will also have a fundraising stall on selected days in the Gateway Building foyer, where you can also find out more about the situation.
Co-organiser of Liverpool Unites for Nepal, Dr Hem Raj Sharma of University of Liverpool, said:“The country was just recovering from the ten year long civil war. People had high hopes for Nepal to be prosperous. Almost one quarter of country's young people are working in 110 countries around the globe and waiting for better opportunities in their country. This natural disaster has shattered their optimism. The country faces enormous challenges in the aftermath of the disaster. However, the wonderful goodwill shown by international communities in this tragedy may provide the opportunity to rebuild the country in a higher level.”
Dr Sara Parker from Liverpool John Moores University added:“I have long standing connections with Nepal and my heart goes out to everyone who is effected by this tragedy. Now is the time to come together to support local people in Nepal in what will be a long term recovery process. Donating now to the short term relief efforts is an important step but I would also urge people to find a relevant charity or organisation that they can make a long term commitment to. Details of some of these will be included in the event on the 15th May, so please come along and support us to show Nepal that we care.”
Up and coming events
Professor Simon Piaseki’s Scouts group will join a sponsored scavenger hunt on Saturday 9th May, where they will carry Shelterboxes around Liverpool. Shelterbox units contain a tent, cooker and crucial emergency supplies for a family. They hope to send as many Shelterboxes as possible to Nepal. Sponsor them via: JustGiving.com/Willaston or text WORM96 £2 to 70070. All money will go to Shelterbox.
Sunday 10 may 12 pm to 3 pm Fundraising family day – with musicians, face painting, momos and Nepali food Claremont Farm, Old Clatterbridge Road, Wirral, CH63 4JB
- Friday 15 May –Light to Unite for Nepal – an event to raise funds and awareness is being organised by the Liverpool Unites for Nepal which will include a photography exhibition and light installation coinciding with Liverpool Light Night in the foyer of the John Lennon Art and Design Building, 2 Duckinfield St, L3 5RD (next to Christ the King Cathedral). Dr Sara Parker is the key contact person for this event if anyone wants to volunteer time, skills or resources to this event
- A number of schools in Liverpool have friendship links with Nepal and will be raising funds to support recovery efforts. St Vincent’s and St Michaels in Hamlet school both have friendship links in Nepal through the Pahar Trust Nepal http://www.pahar-trust.org/ are raising funds through a variety of events.
- Pranay Raj Shakya, Vice President Education Elect at Liverpool Hope Student Union is raising money to help Rotaract and other active youth organisations distribute food, tents, safety masks, medicines, water purifying tablets and more: http://www.gofundme.com/pranayfornepal. People can also make donations in person at the Liverpool Hope Campus on Taggart Avenue.
Anyone wishing to give money to the appeal can do so by visiting the Liverpool Unites for Nepal Earthquake Relief Appeal https://www.justgiving.com/nepal-earthquake-2015 Any funds raised will be used donated to the Help Nepal Network, a global charity which aims to provide assistance in the fields of health and education in rural Nepal.
For more information about volunteering at one of the local events being organised by Liverpool Unites for Nepal, contact Dr Hem Raj Sharma, firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information about the candle lit vigil as part of Liverpool Light Night 2015, contact Dr Sara Parker, S.L.Parker@ljmu.ac.uk. For information on helping Rotaract contact Pranay Raj Shakya, Vice President Education Elect at Liverpool Hope Student Union email@example.com
Twitter users can tweet a message of support using #unitefornepal