5 May 2015

Nepali student at AMREP appeals for earthquake relief

Dear AMREP friends and colleagues,

My name is Sewa Rijal and I am a Monash PhD student at Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP). Nepal, my beloved home country, was recently struck by a massive 7.9 earthquake causing a terrible loss of life and leaving millions of survivors without proper shelter, food and water. It has been a week since the incident and I am still unable to sleep at night. Being so far away, I feel utterly helpless, combined with a sense of guilt, because I am OK when others in my country are suffering so much.
Continue reading my full story and/or donate to this cause. This appeal has raised over $1530 AUD in three days! Please act now to contribute as every penny counts. Thanks to all those who have already contributed!
Although there have been no personal tragedies for me, I have been told of horrific stories around my neighbourhood which absolutely break my heart. A mother lost her child and couldn’t reach her despite the screams that eventually faded into the depths of the rubble. A father’s body was recovered, after he had gone to pray at a nearby temple that succumbed to the tremors. An orphanage was completely destroyed leaving a dozen children without a proper home. And there are many more such tales of misery in every community.

But the tragedies post the earthquake perhaps have been even more painful to bear. News has been coming out of the slow relief process causing much anger and riot. The situation gets worse as we move away from the capital, Kathmandu, to the villages and remote areas. There have been limited rescues let alone any help for those that survived. The media as well as  social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook tell of an appalling ordeal in those areas.
Continue reading my full story and/or donate to this cause.
Many villages are completely flattened. People are sleeping in the cold ground with no roof over their heads onward to a nearing monsoon season. They are running out of food and many, including hungry children, may be left to starve. Their livestock have perished or been taken by wild animals. Clean water and sanitation is in a crisis situation with the risk of an epidemic health crisis. Hearing this makes my heart shiver and I feel extremely nervous for my country.

Despite this, hope is in the air because of the limitless generosity of humanity. I am humbled at the inundation of goodwill from my colleagues who have shown a genuine compassion and offers to help. Often I find myself tearing up speaking about the situation as the need is ever-increasing and the damage is brutal. Both local and international aid including ordinary individuals have joined hands to pledge a relief effort one step at a time. I am overwhelmed by a sense anxiety that no matter what I do, I am not doing enough.

I have started an online fundraising campaign for our AMREP community and their friends so funds collected can go to a local NGO working in remote areas at the grassroot level. Every penny you give will go directly to the victims and will be accounted for with updates.
Please click here to support this cause and spread the word. We have limited time to act for immediate relief.
Nepal needs your continued generosity to bounce back from this disaster. The road ahead is challenging and efforts required are extraordinary but the salvage is hardly impossible. I say this because I believe in a world of miracles. Yes, I still do despite the tragedy! How else would you then explain a 4-month old child being pulled out from the rubble alive after 22 hours and just recently, a 101-year old making it after 8 days? My country will definitely bounce back even more beautiful than before.

Lastly, let me leave you with a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7wZfJ0a-jQ) on the backdrop of the song “We are the world” that shows you the brutality of the earthquake, asking us to come together in this hour of need (Credit: TNN24). The song holds a special place in my heart because our class sang it together on stage (last year of high school) when I was in Nepal. I pray for the wellbeing of all of them, many of whom I have lost contact with, hoping and trusting that they are safe and well.

My heartfelt thanks to those who have offered to contribute already. I am looking forward to your continued and generous support for the earthquake relief efforts.

Sewa Rijal

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email:
•    Email: sewa.rijal@monash.edu
•    Phone: 0443 017 392
•    Link for donating to this cause (Note: You will receive a receipt which says "Contribution Confirmation" which can be used as a record of your donation when completing your tax return)
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