It’s been just over a year since the devastating earthquakes that rocked Nepal. A lot has happened in that time, and much has been done to help rebuild this much-loved country. In a story about disaster, there’s still a lot of hope to be found. We want to start by thanking you. Without your support, raising the phenomenal total of £277,435.40 (including Gift Aid) would have been impossible. What we did with the money, the things we were able to achieve, have been beyond what we ever could have hoped for. So thank you. Here is the change you created.
Phase One: Emergency Relief
Phase one was emergency relief. We used the money to buy tarpaulin which could be used to build basic, temporary shelters to see families safely through the monsoon season. Our leaders and porters volunteered their time, transporting and distributing food and medical supplies to remote areas bigger aid agencies struggled to reach. Our expertise and knowledge of these mountain communities enabled us to get to people who would otherwise not received any help.
Phase Two: Rebuilding
With so many homes damaged, it was imperative to start rebuilding. Frustrated by the fuel strikes, which ground much of Nepal to a halt for several months, this took longer to get underway than anyone wanted. When we did finally manage to start pushing through, the results were astonishing. Working with the Nepal Youth Foundation, we were able to build a brand new school, with five classrooms and a Community Nutrition Kitchen which will serve one hot meal a day to each pupil. Exodus funded the build and the hot meals, whilst the Nepal Youth Foundation used their knowledge to execute the plan perfectly, completing the new, earthquake proofed building in an incredibly short time frame. It’s been so successful we’re sponsoring at least two more schools.
We are also working with our leaders and guides to help rebuild the homes of our staff that were destroyed or severely damaged. More than 8 of our local staff in Nepal have received financial aid to help rebuild their homes.
Phase 3: Thulopatel Medical Camp
With the unexpected and overwhelming response to our Earthquake Appeal, we found we had more funds than we’d ever anticipated. So we had to devise a new plan. This was the result: a 3 day specialist medical camp in the mountains, with locals flocking to receive treatment from specialist doctors who had come from Kathmandu, voluntarily, to treat those who needed it. These remote mountain communities suffer badly with little or no access to proper medical care. This camp enabled them to receive the medical assistance they need so badly.
Exodus’ Himalayan History
Exodus has a long history with the greatest of all mountain ranges: the Himalaya. More than 40 years ago we ran Overland Expeditions to the fabled city of Kathmandu and soon after guided trekkers to Everest Base Camp. Managing Director Pete Burrell began his journey in the Himalaya almost as long ago. As Nepal does with so many travellers, it quickly became close to his heart, and he has returned many times over the years, even introducing it to his children on a trekking holiday a few years ago. So it’s no surprise he was so heavily involved with our earthquake appeal, and travelled out to Nepal soon after the disaster to help in person.
Exodus veteran and one of our most popular leaders, Valerie Parkinson has been leading treks in the Himalaya for more than 30 years. She was instrumental in setting up and distributing the aid fairly, and has been involved in projects here for many years before the earthquake. Look out for the ‘Led by Valerie Parkinson’ text against specific departures. Olly Pemberton is Exodus’ resident videographer. His recent filming work was his first time in Nepal, but he promises it won’t be his last.
Join us in Nepal this Autumn
What Nepal needs now is travellers to return. Whilst there is undeniably damage around some areas, including Kathmandu’s Durbar Square and Bhaktapur, the mountains regions have largely rebuilt and recovered. Teahouses have been repaired along major trekking routes such as Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Sanctuary, and this wonderful country is truly ready for the welcome return of its trekkers.