Lagunans continue their aid efforts for Nepal
Editor’s Note: These are a few words from our Laguna Beach “boots on the ground”, Rosalind Russell, of R Star Foundation, following the devastating 7.8 earthquake:
“What I am learning most days is things are getting worse for our rural villages. Other than our tending to our villagers, those not in our programs are gettin’ nutt’n! The government is turning help away; the airport is still burdened with supplies, which are barely beginning to move out. Kathmandu will be first, as they are easiest to reach… rural people won’t get help unless charities like ours get in there. HELP!”
– Rosalind Russell
Real time update from Nepal R Star Foundation:
There are no charities or government authorities reaching the distant villagers we have worked with for over a decade. What we have done is not short of a miracle!
Food and shelter has been arriving to R Star’s remote villages in Nepal thanks to our own field team, led by Rabindra [aka Rabin] Sitaula. They reached two of our hardest hit villages (of our 48), with beans, rice, tea and sugar within three days following the earthquake.
So many people, so much need
Additionally, Rabin brought in temporary housing (heavy plastic sheeting) to ward off the inclement weather, which is entering the rainy season presently. The rain adds to the misery of the displaced people on such a large scale, while adding to disease possibilities. Hypothermia can result from exposure. The makeshift modest dwellings will protect them as well as their meager belongings until rebuilding can begin.
Over 600 people were greeted with swift response relief because of the mindfulness and leadership of Rabin. He is R Star’s hero! All has not been lost because we have our strong infrastructure of trust, built over the years with confidence in what R Star will do under Rabin’s guidance and direction.
[Russell has been going to Nepal since 2003. R Star is active in 48 rural villages.]
Rabin tells me how the scared villagers have hope because of the supplies arriving unbelievably fast, faster than even Kathmandu appears to be receiving.
To our knowledge, none of our villages in the largest hard hit area of Nepal has received help other than what we have provided. Airdrops are just beginning. We do not know if the drops will cover any of our furthermost villagers yet. We are hopeful, but dubious, that other relief will arrive to help our villagers.
Rabindra Sitaula surveys the destruction,
and aids first distribution of R Star’s food and shelter
What we are doing is saving lives, in this moment.
Rabin returned to more villages the next day with the secured 110 tents he negotiated under the standard price. How he located them remains beyond me! They were distributed along with foods and other needed items. Just $25.00 provides tents for two families.
My most recent talk with Rabin shared that we are up and beyond more than 1000 people provided for by R Star’s in-the-field team. His plan is to continue to the most rural of our already distant and rural areas, as quickly as supplies can be obtained, and transport them over the broken roads.
The following day, Rabin brought in a medical team he organized. More tents, foods and supplies were also distributed.
Rabin has exhausted the emergency funds we kept on hand. Wiring the recently donated funds was done Monday, to continue the relief urgently needed. This is not the time to stop the help arriving to our villagers!
We are cognizant that no help will arrive to our villagers for six or more weeks still to come; yet the villages need help as desperately as the easier-to-access cities.
Within the month we will have a structural engineer on the premises of our one school. It was damaged, though not lost – as all the homes were in Wojethar; with no loss of human life.
The teachers are eager to begin the new school year, and the classrooms will be held in tents. There is a moratorium on any school opening for the next week per the government mandate, which may be extended because the reality is that all the structures have been dangerously compromised.
Happily, the water well at the Top of the World – Nepal school, has not been contaminated. The water wells we, along with Poynton Rotary Group, installed in three villages, three years ago were tested without a bit of contamination. The sanitation, meaning the bathrooms, appear to function in nearly 90% of all our villages. These two things prevent additional epidemic diseases arriving, such as cholera. We have much to be grateful for in spite of the huge losses in homes, animals and human lives.
We need your immediate help. This is truly a catastrophic world event where more lives will be lost, should relief not reach our nearly 30,000 villagers.
Donations can be made at our website: www.RStarFoundation.org
Post checks to: R Star, PO Box 4183, Laguna Beach, CA 92652.
R Star is a 100% volunteer organization, with no paid employees, and with overhead under 8%. We have been trusted to do exactly as we have said we would do for more than a decade. You know us! We ask you for emergency donations with the same dedication and passion to carry out the work masterfully – as we do!
Together we are making a difference.
R Star Foundation: “Women Helping Women & Children in Nepal…therefore the world”.