REBUILDING LIVES OF NEPALESE SHERPAS
Nepal is an incredibly beautiful country. I was recently privileged and blessed enough to be amongst the most compassionate people I have ever met. The Nepalese people live their lives nestled in the world’s most beautiful mountain range, "The Himalayas.”
Hiking through the Himalayan ranges was always one of my dreams. The views were spectacular. The Sherpas were more supportive than I had imagined possible. Having the opportunity to trek up Mt. Everest was fantastic, even though the sudden, brutal earthquake disrupted my visit on April 25, 2015. It was amazing that I got the chance to enjoy hiking through the trails, walking past the Naks (Himalayan female cattle) and crossing over the suspended bridges; and yet, somehow survived this tragic disaster. It was heartbreaking that this earthquake took such a toll on the local residents and tourists. Amidst this tragedy, there were many unfortunate climbers whose dreams went unfulfilled.
I was at the Khumjung village when the first earthquake hit. From day one, it was the Sherpas who unconditionally cared for me until I was rescued by the Indian Air Force Choppers who flew me to Kathmandu from Lukla seven days after the earthquake. This was an experience that I had to document for life. I’m blessed to be alive with all the prayers from my family, friends and countless extended well-wishers.
The Sherpas in the high mountains still need our help to rebuild their villages to sustain an enriched Himalayan lifestyle. Despite their impoverished situation, the people in these rural areas have a better sense of recycling than most urban residents in developing countries. In spite of the variety of hardships they deal with on a daily basis, they still haven’t received any relief funding, assistance to rebuild homes or keeping their families safe.
In 2015, PRERNA worked directly with the Sherpas in the Ghat, Deusa and Khumjung villages. Every dollar donated was sent directly to help them rebuild their homes and schools as well as used for other basic supplies. Our goal was to provide the relief they needed so that they could some day return to the life they had.
We asked ourselves:
· Why hasn’t any aid gone to most of the mountain villages after months since the earthquake?
· Why don’t villagers know what the future holds for them without tourism or jobs?
· How can people bypass the organizations with middlemen and assist those who are in desperate need?
· Why are governments taking credit in the media for relief efforts instead of helping them rebuild?
· Why are endless cartons of resources and other relief goods stranded at Kathmandu with no logistical way to distribute them further?
The Nepalese Sherpas in the high mountains need help to rebuild their lives and sustain their beautiful Himalayan lifestyle. Without much tourism to boost prosperity and a lack of relief funding, they need support to build new homes and keep their families safe. After the earthquakes, PRERNA helped to rebuild the homes in the mountain villages near the Ghat area. We strived to make a direct impact on the Sherpas' lives, providing some basic sense of relief.