Lucy Osborn ,Ausnepalnews , Sydney .The Dinner on Monday 8th June at the Himalayan Char Grill was one of several that have been organised since the earthquake in Nepal by the owner, Yogeshwor Pudasaini, to raise money for disaster relief. Yogi has generously put much time and effort into these events, which have been very popular with his customers at both his restaurants in Glebe and Crows Nest. Funds totally just under $50,000 have been raised through the meals and a combination of raffles and silent auctions as well as donations.
The funds have benefited several different charities including the Australian Himalayan Foundation, Jorpati Lions Club, TPRF and Support Rural Nepal.The generosity of those attending these events show the extent of the goodwill that Australians feel towards Nepal and their desire to support those affected by the earthquake. There are many Australians who have visited Nepal at some time in their lives and have experienced the beauty of the landscapes, the vibrancy of Kathmandu and the warmth and friendliness of its people. Everyone who has been there has been impressed by the rich spiritual heritage of the country and it is particularly saddening to see the destruction of temples, shrines and monasteries in the earthquake. Of course it is the plight of the Nepalese who have lost their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods in the disaster that has touched Australian hearts and we are keen to help in the best way we can. Once the immediate emergency relief has been provided to those who need it most, and there is an urgent need to for this to be achieved before the monsoons begin to hit the areas already devastated by the quake, there will be the need for long-term commitment to the rebuilding process, especially in those remote mountain areas which are hard to access.
The Australian Himalayan Foundation is working to achieve both these missions:
With their team on the ground in Kathmandu, they are delivering the most practical, direct assistance possible to those who are most in need. Their efforts are focussed on the Solu Khumbu (Everest) region badly affected by the second earthquake and where they have been working for over ten years but also Bhaktapur, Sindhupalchok, Dhading, the district of Gorkha and the valley of Langtang. As a small, flexible NGO with capacity to make quick decisions, they have been able to quickly get food, clean drinking water, shelter and other essential supplies out to these areas and beyond. With a nimble, responsive team on the ground they have been able to move swiftly and efficiently along with their partners REED, who helped make this happen. When the second earthquake hit, it occurred in the Everest or Solukhumbu region where AHF have been working for over ten years to provide essential health and education services. Many AHF schools in the lower Solukhumbu, far from the tourist trails and where their work is concentrated, have been completely destroyed and hundreds of homes lost and as one of the only NGO’s on the ground right now providing emergency relief here, these communities are turning to the AHF for hope and for ongoing support.
The mission of Support Rural Nepal is “to rebuild Nepal, regain heritage and remake the lives of Nepalese”. They have been busy distributing relief family packages including tarpaulins and clothes to Kavre district, east of Kathmandu, Chandeni village in Dolakha district and a number of other remote villages. They have also undertaken rapid relief operations in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts and supported 400 evacuated victims from totally destroyed villages in the trekking region of Langtang. The founders of Support Rural Nepal have already been working for decades in Kathmandu, Bandipur and Nuwakot to rebuild and preserve heritage buildings as well as provide employment for local Nepalese in hospitality and trekking.
The challenge will be to maintain the contribution from the Australian community to supporting the people of Nepal as they transition to the long and slow process of rebuilding. It will require innovation and perseverance to make sure that an already traumatised society can restore their faith in a secure future and an improved economic environment. This will require the co-operation between NGOs and the Nepalese government working together with the communities at the grassroots.