August 28, 2015
From the Maya Sherpa Project Board of Directors:
The 2015 earthquakes in Nepal may be out of the news, but the country and its rebuilding efforts remain in our minds and hearts. The initial help from the large international aid organizations was instrumental in helping to save lives and stabilize many others. Our own Sherpa family from Mera – which was spared – collected supplies and set out to help other in villages that had received the brunt of the earthquakes’ devastation.
We also sent two from the US– Nima Sherpa and Nick Moon – to Nepal in June, with supplies and money for food, medicine, tarps and other emergency needs. They were met with gratitude from the many families and communities they visited, both in Kathmandu and in the mountains. They were also met with the onset of the monsoons, which only served to emphasize the dangerous conditions that much of Nepal is facing: unstable mountainsides, lakes and trails that are now being undermined and even swept away by the torrents of rain. Their trip, detailed here (link), gave us first hand knowledge of the conditions in much of the Khumbu (Everest) region.
What we learned is that the rebuilding of homes is being handled by the government, with the aid it has received from other countries. The effort is not without problems, but it is evolving. However there are still the schools and health clinics and monasteries and community projects for which the Nepalis will not receive compensation. This has always been, and now remains, the focus for our organization’s work. Regarding the recent devastation from the earthquakes, there are villages that have received no attention and no hope of support . . . and our task is to find and identify how we can help those people.
Recognizing the epic scope of the destruction and the length of time to repair the lost homes and communities, we still want to move forward with our best efforts. Our manager in Nepal, Pemba Sherpa from Lukla, has traveled extensively and has identified – and is now prioritizing – a number of projects that meet our criteria: villages that have no tourist or foundation money to help them rebuild their community structures, and local projects that can be personally supervised by our MSP staff.
With this list, we are currently considering rebuilding a road to a small community that has not only been destroyed, but is cut off from all help; supplying scholarship money for displaced children who now have to go to school, and live, in other communities; rebuilding a Monastery guest house for visiting lamas; contributing to the rebuilding of a school that has to be moved to another location, due to unstable conditions at its original site. We hope to begin some of these projects in October, after the monsoon season.
Even with these projects, we know that the relief work is ongoing and is long-term. How long? Perhaps it was best put by David Morton, a seasoned high altitude climber and director of the Juniper Fund (http://www.thejuniperfund.org/overview/): “We are looking at a generation of rebuilding.”
Thanks to those of you who so generously gave to our making this rebuilding possible. If you want to continue to help, we are most grateful for even the smallest of donations. In a country with such great need, everything is useful and much appreciated.
Blessings of peace,
The Maya Sherpa Project Board of Directors
Dawa Sherpa, Sharon Lowe, Nancy Kramer, Pattie Moon