I am sure that many of you have avenues to assist with those devastated by the recent earthquakes, but if not, these Louisiana folks do truly fine work in Nepal and so are already embedded deeply enough to be able to assess and support what is crucial. Some of their ideas in the following email are quite local to New Orleans and my apologies in advance if that frustrates anyone, but they certainly have a wide range of ways to assist. I’d love to see some market communities and food systems around the U.S. and beyond step up to fund a full truck of rice, but certainly even having a tarp or poncho fundraiser would be great.
Since our last LHA email update on Nepal a lot has happened including a second earthquake, which I’m sure most of you are current on. Unfortunately two of the places where LHA has been previously involved in Nepal, which were not affected by the first quake, had severe damage from the second one. Still to date, miraculously, no physical bodily injury to any LHA affiliates or their families has been reported, although many have lost their homes and/or have had severe damage to the monasteries where they live. Most up to date research shows more than 7000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of victims are in need of food, water, medicine, shelter, rehousing.
After a careful review of the aid already happening in Nepal we have discovered that the people LHA should focus on are those in the most remote mountain villages. Many of these people (maybe up to a million) will be in tents and makeshift structures for the monsoon and only able to really rebuild once the rain slows in September. They have to stay in the mountains in order to tend the rice crops. Getting the crops grown over the summer will be crucial to their survival. The monsoon can be very cold in the mountains. Unfortunately the Nepali government is not able to take care of everyone in a timely way. They need our help.
From our experience of seeing the massive amounts of waste in the aftermath of Katrina we have identified some forms of temporary housing materials that can be used in Nepal as roofing before more permanent housing structures get underway. Here is one example of materials that LHA is providing that will serve as shelter now and will be used for roofing material later: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/nepal-quake-temporary/1849134.html
What is LHA Doing Now:
LHA now has people both in India and Nepal. We are shopping for the best deals and buying supplies including sheet metal , tarps , rain gear and rice in Delhi and having them trucked to Kathmandu Nepal (a two day road trip) where our volunteers there will assure that the supplies get to the people in need, the first truck in in route now.
LHA’s main Coordinator in Nepal is Pema. She is from there and is the fiancée of Michael, an LHA Board member from New Orleans who has worked extensively in Nepal, and is now in India organizing the shipments. We’ll have more volunteers arriving in both India and Nepal over the next few weeks. Please see the attached letter recently received from Pema.
We have also identified Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation to be the organization with which LHA will partner in the days ahead. Pachok Rinpoche, who leads this effort, has visited LHA in New Orleans three times over the past few years and has a strong connection with LHA already. He and his team have been on the ground working since day one after the first quake. All reports I’ve received say that they are doing incredible work in a very organized and efficient way. Please take a minuet to check out the websitehttp://earthquakerelief.cglf.org/
What’s happening in New Orleans:
In New Orleans, volunteers now meet at the LHA Community Center (623 N Rendon) every Tuesday night at 7PM to discuss fund raising events and other plans. As of now the group has received confirmation from both the Botanical Gardens at City Park and Tipitina’s Club to hold fund raising events in June. LHA now has volunteers and groups as far away as Norway and Germany putting together events and many individual donors have started showing support by making contributions to the LHA website.
How to Help :
Come to the LHA Nepal Relief Meetings on TuesdayNights at 7PM
Organize a fund raising event in your home area
Here are a few ideas for fund raising: http://earthquakerelief.cglf.org/how-to-help/
Send this email on to your email lists
Spread awareness about the Nepal situation in any way can
Make a donation to LHA, the Chokgyur Lingpa Foundation or other organizations with minimal overhead costs ( make sure you get maximum benefit out of your donation)
Prayers and dedication of merit
Thanks for your support
For Donations to LHA : http://www.lhainfo.org/donate.html
Every Dollar goes a long way:
$1400- Full truck load of Rice
$100 – Sheet metal to construct shelter for a family and later use as a roof on their home
$50 – Tent
$15 – Tarp
$5 – Rain Pancho
100% of donations received by LHA during the month of May will be dedicated to the Nepal projects. Please note, unlike many organizations, LHA is not burdened by managerial and other overhead expenses. Know that your donation directly gets to those in need.
LHA is a 501-c3 Organization – tax ID # 72-1487498 (all donations are tax deductible)