July 7th, 2015 Update
I want to start by extending a huge thanks once again for your generous response to the earthquake that hit Nepal. Your donations and messages of support mean so much to everyone involved in this effort!
We last updated you around 2 weeks after the day of the earthquake. I wanted to share with you some further details of what we have been able to achieve to date in Thame and what our plans are for Thame and other earthquake affected areas.
Thame - Immediate actions
As already reported, shortly after the earthquake we donated 21 tents and 1,300kg of food. These were delivered to Thame by helicopter and yak and were then distributed to those most in need by Lakpa Rita Sherpa shortly after the disaster striking..
We are pleased to report that our actions, and those of many other agencies, ensured that the families of Thame quickly had sufficient food, tents and other supplies to make life more comfortable whilst they came to terms with the situation they faced. Life during this period was not easy, but your donations enabled things to stabilize and enabled the people of Thame to start planning for the future.
Thame - Current plans
The community is now focusing its efforts on the rebuilding of their homes and schools.
The Nepalese government imposed a ban on construction of new houses across the country until mid-July, while it comes up with a new building code. This decision appears to have had most influence in the municipalities and district development committees around the Kathmandu area. Due to the monsoon and the need to move forward before winter the Sherpa of Thame have decided to begin rebuilding now.
There are now stone masons, carpenters and other skilled labor available for the reconstruction effort and our plan is to provide financial assistance to each and every Thame family so that labor can be hired and materials purchased. Lakpa Rita Sherpa will be returning to Thame in 3 to 4 weeks to distribute the funds, which you generously donated, directly to those families.
There is also a need for the local school to be rebuilt. The school provided education to around 70 children up to 8th grade and was destroyed. Our intention is, using the remainder of the funds that you kindly donated, to financially support this rebuilding process and advocate for the rebuilt new school to be as earthquake resistant as possible. My intention is to personally visit Thame in the Fall and establish the viability of this project. Your donations, along with our established track record with the Sherpa community to undertake projects like this, mean that our hopes are high that we will make this project a reality.
Plans for other earthquake affected areas
As well as receiving donations specifically for Thame, we were also fortunate to receive donations where no restriction on their use was placed on them by the donors. These funds we intend to use for earthquake relief purposes that are aligned to our continuous goal of providing education for the children of Nepal.
Our current plans are that these donations will go towards the repair of other school buildings in the area and also to assist families with boarding house fees until they get back on their feet. For example in Namche, where we built a nursery school in tandem with the Sherpa community last year, the local school is using tents for school buildings. Your donations will enable us to begin discussions with the schools trustees regarding how we can assist in getting the school rebuilt.