Nepal Tragedy: Make It Personal


By Matt Evans

As the old adage goes: 1 death is a tragedy, 5,000 deaths is a statistic. When it comes to the tragedy that has befallen Nepal and the surrounding region, nothing short of tragedy can describe it. However, the problem with such wide-spread devastation is that we become overwhelmed, often so overwhelmed that we end up not doing anything. Well here at Shout! Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine we don't want that to happen, we want to make it personal.

Shout! contributor Jeff Rasley has spent a significant amount of time and energy in Basa Village in the Solu area of Nepal. His article from the November/December 2013 issue, An Enlightened Partnership, describes the profound effect this place and its people had on Jeff as well as the awesome work he has done with his foundation to help Basa in building a school, obtaining clean water, installing smokeless stoves, and much more. However, much of town has been damaged by the earthquake and its aftershocks.

Here is an excerpt from a letter Jeff received from village leader Niru (pictured above with Jeff):

Dear Jeff,

Namaste and many greetings from Nepal!

 Thank you very much for your so kind message and your kind concern. We are very happy to hear from you.

Yes unfortunately, we had a really terrible situation with one of the big and destructive earthquake after a long time in history of Nepal and lots of damage with it. But luckily so far we are safe (all our family and team) and we are staying is safe area and are mostly out of house. We have no electricity since the incident and so limited access to internet and phone for the moment. We are hoping the situation gets better day by day and everything will go back to normal soon and we can recover and continue with our normal lives. 

Here in Kathmandu, most of the old house and old monuments were completely destroyed and new and strongly built house survived but with some damages. In Basa also almost all the homes are damaged or destroyed but luckily there also people have survived and living outside house for safetly. We really hope this will now stop and we will have no more earthquakes and we can recover from what we have already lost.

 We really appreciate your kind wishes and concern during this hard time. And also thank you very much for your kind supports.

with best regards

Niru

So, now that we have put a name and a face to a tragedy so far away, let's also answer the question: what can we do?

Jeff and his team at BVF-USA have set a specific goal to help re-build Basa and to restore the village school, hydro-electric system, water system, smokeless stoves and the other village infrastructures that BVF-USA has supported.  They are partnering with the villagers so that they won't distribute any funds until they can make a meaningful assessment of needs of the village working in close parternship with their friends in Nepal to determe how best to help the villagers of Basa.  

GoFundMe account Link:  http://www.gofundme.com/basanepal
 
Or, you can make donations direct to the Foundation.
Check payee:  Basa Village Foundation
Mail care of:  Jeff Rasley, 6422 Ralston Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220
 
If anyone belongs to an organization that could host a program on Nepal Earthquake Relief, please contact Jeff ([email protected]). He and other board members of the BVF-USA will be able to do "soft fundraisers" with local churches, synagogues, temples, or civic organizations.
 
As we think about all that we can do to help the environment through conservation, events like this serve to remind us just how little control we really have over nature and the inner workings of the planet. And, at times like these I'm also reminded that in the end, we are managing, conserving, and preserving this world not for some esoteric reason, but for the benefit of living, breathing people.
 
Therefore, when we get a chance to help out some of God's greatest creation directly, it's OK to get personal.
 
 

 

Matt Evans is the editor for Shout! Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine. Matt's love for Jesus, writing, and all things outdoors allows him to relish every aspect of publishing the highest quality outdoor magazine possible. He especially loves to work with new writers and help them tell their story and make a difference in people's lives. Contact Matt if you've got a story that needs to be told, or just have a question about the magazine. He lives out his adventure in Alaska with his wife and three children.

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