May 15 UPDATE
This is a very hard and frightening time for the people of Nepal. Trouble after trouble has followed the damage and destruction of the earthquakes. After the second big earthquake of magnitude 7.4, the hopes of the people have been really tested, and they are really frightened for the future. Just as after the first earthquake, people have left their homes and have fled to open places again, in fear that there might be yet another major quake. They no longer trust their homes to be safe for them and this has left people vulnerable to both mental and physical suffering.
Currently at WFN: WFN is so glad to be able to tell you that the children at our shelter home as well as our team are all safe. A structural engineer from Germany visited the shelter home and he assured us that our home is safe, but due to the continuous aftershocks both the children and women are afraid to spend the night inside the house. We have made them a special tent at the garden of the shelter, which makes them feel safe.
Once more, WFN has made safe tent shelters for the local community around Boudha in Kathmandu by opening up our production center, school compound and child care center for people to overnight in. There are now over 600 people staying at those areas for temporary shelter.
WFN relief effort is also still in high gear. Reports coming in state that 14 districts have been badly affected and that distribution of aid through roadways is impossible due to damage and landslides. Remote areas are effectively cut off from overland support and are so difficult to reach that it is not possible to carry in aid by foot. However, our very first priority as a team is to reach out to those most badly affected people without further delay. Now we are planning to distribute the emergency aid through airlift.
But we see lots of challenges ahead. All helicopters are under the control of the Home Minister, so we are forced to wait a long time for access, all the while seeing the situation each minute get worse and worse. It is very difficult for us knowing that the conditions in those districts are worsening each day, but unable to reach those in need. The Government has taken control of those zones and announced that they are “sensitive” areas: this has caused delays in aid reaching those parts.
Imagine the hard life in those areas; people looking up in the empty sky and waiting and hoping to get relief. The unpredictable rainy, stormy weather adds misery to their lives. Nepal, this time of year, receives regular violent thunderstorms and the monsoon season is just weeks away. The people are scared and at the same time suffering from hunger, pain, and loss of their loved ones. We feel the responsibility lies on us, here in the city, to share and care in their sorrow. This is why we want to overcome all these obstacles and move ahead to comfort those who survived this deadly disaster.
Together we can share HOPE and together we can share a sense of relief. YES WE CAN!!!
Please! continue your support! Now more than ever the people need to know you CARE.
New Mother Project: In the midst of all this pain and misery, there is new life. WFN is pleased to report that today 11 women contacted the Women’s Foundation after learning of our new program to support pregnant women and new mothers who have been displaced by the earthquake. Three women have come to stay with us already, including one woman with a 15 day old baby. Both are doing well. There are also two pregnant women who have arrived from Sindhupalchowk and Makawanpur Districts, seeking shelter from their ravaged villages.
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