Nepal Earthquake - one year on

Posted by Roger Cooke on Thu, 28 Apr 2016 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

On 25th April 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, ultimately claiming the lives of over 8000, injuring many more and leaving hundreds of thousand homeless. Less than three weeks later, a second major earthquake struck the east of the country.

Two days after the first earthquake and in consultation with our Global Partners and Mission Associates in Nepal, CMSI launched its Nepal Earthquake Response Appeal.

With emergency aid pouring into Nepal from around the world, our intention through this appeal was to support our partners in their mid-term and long-term responses to the crisis, as they worked with individuals and communities whose lives had been turned upside down.

One year on from the earthquake, the rebuilding process is still painfully slow. Indeed, despite vast sums of money being pledged to support the reconstruction efforts, very little of that money has been spent and, according to reports, hardly any new houses have been built.

BBC report
Guardian Online article

The lack of progress is, in part, due to the political upheaval that Nepal experienced in the second half of 2015. A long-awaited constitution was finally passed, but it prompted a backlash among some of those living in the terai – the lowlands that border India to the south. This, in turn, led to a four-month blockade, that cut off fuel and food supplies from India and threw Nepal into an even deeper crisis.

Signs of hope, acts of love

Amidst this bleak and increasingly desperate backdrop, our Global Partners have continued to share hope and love in transforming ways and parishes and individuals in Ireland have helped to support them.

The CMSI Appeal saw lots of folk responding with personal messages of support and solidarity, much prayer and financial generosity – over £23,000 was raised for the appeal.

Last August, CMSI transferred £6500 to HDCS to support their school-reconstruction project in the Lamjung District – where one of their hospitals is located. An estimated 16000 schools in Nepal were destroyed or damaged in the earthquake. After the initial emergency response, rebuilding and restarting schools became one of the priorities. The government asked HDCS to help build two schools in Lamjung and as these photos indicate, work is progressing well.

In the weeks and months following the earthquake, SDSS (the social care ministry of SD Church) helped provide food and shelter to a number of homeless families in the Kathmandu Valley, as well as supporting communities in two villages in rural Nepal, close to the epicentre.

Through their Patient Navigation Programme, SDSS also received a number of children who had come to Kathmandu for amputations or other operations, following serious injuries from the earthquake. Our partners are only too aware of the challenges facing people with disabilities who live in rural Nepal. For these children, the prospects were poor – largely housebound, unable to access school education. Following a week of prayer by the church and discussions with CMSI, our partners started to develop an idea for a new programme…

Following a long process of seeking approval from the Child Welfare Council, SDSS’s Disability Rehabilitation Programme was started, using £14,000 from the CMSI Appeal to help get things started.

The programme is providing ten children with a home in Kathmandu and an opportunity to attend school as well as accessing medical support and help in learning to live with disabilities. The children are thriving – they’re loving the chance to go to school and are responding well to the love and care that they’re receiving.

On behalf of our Global Partners in Nepal, we want to say a very big Thank You to all those who responded, in whatever way, to our Appeal last year. Please join us in giving thanks for the lives that are being transformed through our partners and please continue to pray for Nepal as it continues along the long road to recovery.

A chance to visit Nepal

CMSI plans to take a Mission Experience Team Abroad (META) to Nepal in early November, to visit our two Global Partners (HDCS and SD Church) and our Mission Associates (The Zimmermans). The visit will provide a chance to see firsthand how Nepal is still recovering from 2015 and to spend time with our partners – seeing their work, worshipping with them and deepening the connections.

There are still spaces on this team and we’re extending the deadline for applications to Monday 23rd May. Click here for further details.

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