I’m sure you’ve heard about the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal earlier in the week. Over 5, 000 people have been killed. More than eight million people have been affected by the quake while about 10, 000 people have been injured. Villages destroyed. Aid is starting to get through, but many are still sleeping outside, too scared to return to their homes because of aftershocks.
Nepal has a special place in my heart. Not only is it a beautiful country, it has a rich cultural heritage. In fact, the Kathmandu Valley was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979. I stayed in the country for two and a half months back in 2011 where I saw the sun rise over Everest, taught English to porters and guides and trekked the beautiful Annapurnas. Some of the same students that I taught were up in the mountains when the earthquake hit. Sadly, I know of at least one person who has been killed. I taught him at the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project – an NGO promoting sustainable tourism and provides training to those working on the mountains. He took me on a hike around the Kathmandu Valley, telling me about the villages and the legends that surrounded the valley. I will remember him as a lovely, giving person; passionate about his country and wanting to share that with me.
They need our help right now. Nepal was already one of the poorest countries in the world and now they have to deal with this crisis. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) have set up The Nepal Earthquake Appeal. The Guardian also has a list of other appeals where you can donate.