R Star Foundation awarded grant from Lacewings

August 4th, 2015

R Star Foundation has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Lacewings Foundation, founded by Laguna’s own Mary Williams, to support the efforts of R Star during the Nepal crisis, nearing two months now.

“We are so pleased to partner with the Lacewings Foundation to continue with support for women and children, all villagers of ours affected by the earthquakes in Nepal,” states Executive Director, Rosalind Russell. “We are delighted and grateful.”

R Star rerouted from the goat gifting/micro-financing it is known for since April 25, when the first devastating earthquake hit, and again as the situation worsened with the second large quake on May 12.

Within three days following the first quake, R Star was delivering food and temporary shelters to the three worst hit areas among R Star’s 48 villages. All villages were contacted within the week.

R Star’s Top of the World – Nepal school reopened on June 9, though not in the school building: they have to make do under tarps. Even though the building is the only one still standing in Wojethar village, critical repairs are necessary before being able to safely resume classes indoors.

Russell reports that engaging the children in meaningful studies following the programs dealing directly with their trauma, is crucial to their well-being. The myriad of educational and recreational activities offered at the TOW-N school help the children to re-engage in life.

“It is the organization’s goal to help the young students remain active and vibrant, to keep learning and be intellectually vital, which certainly helps the parents as well, “ she said. “The TOW-N school program has become integral to our programs, and R Star remains committed to restoring the lives of the 30,000 villagers with housing, medical and other needs – with collaborations and donors.”

For 12 years R Star has enhanced the lives of the villagers and children through programs and services that promote self worth, independence, wellness, peace and community. R Star began working in rural neglected villages in late 2003, and is now credited with over 15,000 goats gifted, the TOW-N school, water wells, skilled training, and adult literacy classes. The programs will resume once satisfactory housing can be built in this time of crisis.

Please visit the website of R Star’s at: www.RStarFoundation.org for added information or call 949.497.4911.

What is R Star? Back to the roots

August 4th, 2015

R Star Foundation began by a happenstance meeting in Durber Square, Kathmandu, Nepal, between an 11-year-old boy, Rabin, and Rosalind Russell in 1988. They stayed in touch over the years, and met again 15 years later at which time the R Star Foundation began its journey and mission of ‘women helping women and children in Nepal…therefore the world’. Its purpose: to serve and educate the isolated and disempowered women and children of Nepal by connecting resources to the neediest people in remote areas and helping to bring about peace.

Thus began Rosalind’s adoption of this young boy’s family and their adoption of her. Rosalind promised to come back and returned several years later. She wanted to bring the family a gift that would help them, and decided on 2 pregnant goats. She discussed the idea with some local friends in California, and lo and behold, they each wanted to donate goats too. Two goats quickly turned into 89. The process is: 25 women are put into a group. Each woman receives 2 pregnant goats, and each group receives a male goat for breeding. Thirteen years later, and over 15,000 gifted goats, RSF has lifted these women to income generators. At the same time the goat gifting began, RSF was also able to create micro-financing seed money to further uplift these women to get small loans to help advance their own personal ventures. RSF is a 100% volunteer organization, and unique in that 100% of all funding received goes towards serving over 48 villages in the remote area of Kavre. RSF was also able to build a school in this area and the children educated there test out in the top 10% of the entire nation.

The biggest challenge facing RSF now is getting enough funding to restore some normalcy to these villagers and villages following the barrage of devastating earthquakes and aftershocks that began in April, 2015. Our focus is to get the funding so we can continue our work to help local disaster teams get food, tarps/tents, mosquito netting, temporary housing and medical care teams to these villages. Monsoon season is coming soon, and will make it even more difficult to reach these areas. Time is of the essence.

Our near future business opportunities are focused on getting things back to “normal” including: rebuilding the school as well as homes for 30,000 affected people. We will then re-focus our efforts on our original mission of women helping women (establish businesses) and children (receive an excellent education in a safe and nearby location). As a result, women and children of this region get the opportunity to thrive and experience peace.

$25,000 would greatly help RSF do a number of things. The first on the list is repairing the school. Currently the school has been reopened, albeit under a tarp! We were able to re-open on June 9th thanks to the coordination and devoted efforts of the teams in Nepal and here in the US. We need to reinforce the walls, install an iron safety railing, repair the roof and ceiling. Remaining funds will help get the necessary supplies of food and medicine to this area. Mentorship will help manage these processes while keeping the school open, as well as mentorship to leverage the remaining funds to begin rebuilding the destroyed homes.

RSF has grown by sheer will and passion. RSF is committed to ensure these remote villages and villagers get the help they need, as quickly as possible. The funding will help these villages get back on their feet to continue their journey towards peace and prosperity.

Update from StuNews

August 4th, 2015

July 31, 2015 StuNews
Local Foundation, R Star, still committed to saving thousands in Nepal following earthquakes
R Star Foundation, and their Women Helping Women & Children in Nepal, continues to make a difference in 48 villages following the earthquakes that began major destruction last April.

“Because of individuals who believe in our work – their generosity has fuelled our efforts further,” said R Star Founder and Laguna local, Rosalind Russell. “We tend our 48 villages, including approximately 30,000 people, with food, medical care, vaccinations, temporary and permanent housing too.”
The region in which R Star Foundation works, the Kavre area, has lost 70,600 homes due to the earthquakes. It is an agricultural area, not an area tourists are likely to visit. Most of the government money is directed to areas of tourism.
“R Star’s work has been critical to the agricultural people who continue to be set aside, neglected and ignored, though it should not be misconstrued that all the areas damaged by the earthquakes need extensive help,” added Russell.
The R Star Foundation will visit all their villages in Kavre this month.
“Some of our villages were not reachable because the roads no longer existed, but we have had phone contact to determine their needs and still managed to get them tents and food,” said Russell. The villagers hike to accessible areas where they receive the donated goods and supplies.
nepall

Women asking for more supplies in the village of Bagultar, Nepal. They have received tents and mosquito nets thanks to R Star Foundation.

Rabindra is the R Star executive in charge within Nepal. He coordinates the practical necessities to provide for the remote villages.
“Our thanks go to Rabindra, our determined executive in Nepal for R Star who creates connections for everything, including transportation; where to purchase supplies as well as negotiate fair rates; pay for purchases; communicate with all the villages to coordinate deliveries and know their needs; handles the paperwork R Star must receive including lists of who gets what, and in what order, and when; carries supplies along with others to areas where roads don’t exist; inspects the purchased supplies,” said Russell. “He does much more, but suffice it to say, he is the angel taking care of all matters to lift our villagers, all without pay as we remain a 100% volunteer organization. He expresses his pleasure to be able to serve. But, I tell you, it removes him from his wife, infant, and 8 year old.”

Rabindra serves R Star because he feels genuine solidarity with the villagers. Russell adds, “He is sure compassion is necessary and required in addition to the supplies we furnish. He feels we are to lift them since the ‘cure’ won’t be for many, many months – or years.”
To help with donations, visit R Star’s Villages fundraising page:
https://fundraiser.processdonation.org/Fundraiser/donate.aspx?fid=9I4HE6375C

The Top of the World – Nepal School REOPENED June 2.

June 8th, 2015

martha nepal pictureThe Top of the World – Nepal School REOPENED this week! As you can see, not in the severely damaged school building, but under tarps. The children are excited to be back in school. We know school distracts the children from their harsh lives with the monsoons arriving by being in classes. It assists the children to cope with the losses their village and the whole of Nepal has suffered with continued quakes, (April 25, and May 12 being the largest, 7.9 & 7.2 quakes with over 300 aftershocks so far recorded). This is historic regarding the behavior of earthquakes.
Many of you have generously donated to our work or others In Nepal. Thank you! The area we work in, Kavre, lost over 70,600 homes. Restoring ‘normal’ life challenges each village person, along with the disaster teams we have in place who deliver food, tarps/tents, mosquito netting, temp housing and medical care teams as needed for the monsoon season. We are directing other groups/clubs/military of Nepal to reach villages we haven’t been able to reach with delivering supplies. We are in touch with all 48 villages regarding their needs.
Our current aim is first temporary housing which will protect the villagers from the elements as well as to a degree, the tigers. We will re-support the school building once we have the building needs accessed, but after immediate village needs are met for the village. The monstrous sized job of rebuilding homes will follow. GREAT NEWS! We have a group agreed to build not less than 150 homes in the village of Wojethar thanks to the tenacity of Rabin who is R Star’s director in Nepal! We expect to create more alliances for ALL our 48 villages as fast as possible.
R Star is reaching out to all the community support possible with donations coming in from Australia, prestigious University of Yonsei in Korea; Friends of the UK, St. Mary’s Episcopol Church of Laguna Beach; San Juan Capistrano Christian Science Society; Enchanters of Laguna Beach; Links Players (golfers); Lake Point Church, Texas: Presbyterian Church, Laguna Beach; Boulder Unity Church in Colorado & Pomona California; Laguna Beach Rotary; Soroptomist clubs of Downey & Laguna Beach; Budincich Chiropractic, Pasadena; Neighborhood Congregational Church, Laguna Beach and many more. Along with being published in the news, recently R Star was interviewed on Laguna’s FM station, KX 93.5. To hear the show: http://kx935.com/podcast/tiob.interviewpodcasts/5.23.2015.2000
We need as much help as you are able to afford Nepal. Do what you can, which will come easily as you give thought to the living conditions being less than how we would tend to our animals let alone pets.
Thank you for caring!
Rosalind Russell, Founder/CEO
Donate here: https://fundraiser.processdonation.org/Fundraiser/donate.aspx?fid=9I4HE6375C

Photo update of R Star aid reaching Nepali Villages

May 22nd, 2015

Every donation goes straight to the people that need it. Please donate now.

Here you can see the destruction which is prominent in many areas East of Kathmandu and in lots of the villages where R Star has done work. These photos include our field coordinator and manager Rabin caring for a 95 year old woman who had just lost her home, as well as pictures of the destruction of our R Star Top of the World school and people rushing for supples.

EQ TOW-N damage both floors

EQ totally leveled village home

EQ TOW-N top floor extreme damage

EQ 95 year old woman lost home.. given a blanket by Rabin

EQ Salvaging where possible

EarthquakeTempShelter  5.19.15

Chaos for supplies

Donate here and know your money is going DIRECTLY to those in need

May 14th, 2015

Nepal quake flyer

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Update after second Earthquake hits Nepal

May 13th, 2015

From director of R Star Rosalind Russell

Find out more on our facebook page

“With the earthquake today over 7.2 , things are of course worse. There is no stability in most of Nepal, yet the needs for those in the rural areas remains HUGE. We will be in the villages gathering information as we bring supplies from temp housing to foods and other supplies within hours from now. What was already awful and bad has indeed become far worse, far more dangerous. That said, we have the stalwart leadership of Rabindra Sitaula doing all he can do with the teams of Nepali friends and family the garners to bring in help with supplies, to establish hope with the reminder to be sure and certain to help each other rather than standing about weeping and commiserating or stealing. This is catastrophic with the added quake, with continuing aftershocks. Your prayers remain requested. What affects one, affects all of us!”

Appeal for help in Nepal

May 9th, 2015

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
Chaos for supplies

Rabindra dazed at destruction.  First distribution of food and shelter to 600 people

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”.

Articles in Laguna INDY and STUnews

May 9th, 2015

Read here. http://www.lagunabeachindy.com/quake-relief-trickles-into-nepals-villages/

Bearing supplies enough for 150 families to one of Nepal’s devastated remote villages, Rabindra Sitaula encountered near riots when 350 people in need arrived and tried to loot supplies Wednesday.

Sitaula serves as program manager in Nepal for the R Star Foundation, based in Laguna Beach, which for a decade has distributed donated goats to isolated villages to improve living standards.

Foundation founder Rosalind Russell said this week that not a single charity or government authority has delivered aid to any of the 48 goat-receiving villages she’s involved with, all of which were damaged by the April 25 quake.

“Ninety percent of our villagers all lost their homes,” she said, and now residents are at high risk for cholera and other diseases due to exposure as the rainy season arrives.

She said the foundation lacks the funds to buy cholera vaccine.

Nepal earthquake
Supplies of rice and daal are hand carried to a village this week by R Star’s team.
Earlier, Sitaula delivered beans, rice, tea and sugar, as well as heavy plastic sheeting for makeshift shelters to 600 people in two villages within days of the 7.9 quake, said Russell.

“Rabin tells me how the scared villagers have hope because of the supplies arriving unbelievably fast, faster than even Kathmandu appears to be receiving,” she said. “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. We are hopeful, but dubious other relief will arrive to help our villagers, ever. What we are doing is saving lives now.”

Nepal earthquake
R Star workers establish a medical camp in earthquake hit Baluwa this week.
Situala estimates he’s distributed supplies to 1,000 people so far, but has exhausted the emergency funds on hand, said Russell, who intended to wire more quake relief this week. Her efforts are drawing support from unlikely places, such as $1,000 promised by the Unity Church of Boulder and a banker in Australia, who grew up in now-destroyed Baluwa, Russell said Thursday.

“This is not the time to stop the help arriving to our villagers,” she said. “We need your nepal earthquake
Burning of bodies in a quake hit Nepal village.immediate help. This is truly a catastrophic world event where more lives will be lost should relief not reach our near 30,000 villagers.”

Meanwhile, some young orphans in Nepal are doing their part to help quake victims, though quake damage displaced them from the Kathmandu orphanage founded by Laguna Beach resident Christine Casey.

The 25 young residents of Chhahari, which means shelter in Nepalese, are temporarily living in the home of Nepal board member Dawa Tamang.

Casey and Tamang’s 18-year-old daughter, Ongmu, decided on a plan to ask the children

Nepal earthquake
Chhahari kids eye cholera medication provided by a friend of the earthquake damaged orphanage in Nepal. Photo courtesy of Christine Casey.
to participate in helping a few of the hardest hit villages in the Kathmandu valley, Casey said in an email this week.

“Ongmu explained to our children the sad circumstances of some people living very close and asked each child to go to their cupboard and choose some clothes to give other children,” Casey said. “They were all anxious and happy to run to their rooms and pick out something to put into the bag.”

“Ongmu is researching the villages where we should go and our taxi driver, Maishe, along with four Chhahari children, Ongmu and me will be delivering our collection in a few days,” Casey said.

More info: RStarFoundation.org and Chhahari.org.

R STAR’S VILLAGES NEPAL UPDATE:

May 6th, 2015

From Rosalind Russell and Rabindra Sitaula

rstarhelp

Food and shelter has been arriving to R Star’s remote villages in Nepal. Our own field team lead by Rabindra Sitaula reached 2 of our hardest hit villages of our 48 with beans, rice, tea and sugar three days following the 7.9 quake. Additionally Rabin brought in temporary housing of 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. 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? We are hopeful, but dubious other relief will arrive to help our villagers, ever. What we are doing is saving lives, now.

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 two tents for two families.

The most recent talk with Rabin shared that we are up and over more than 1000 people provided for by R Star’s in-the-field team. The plans he shared with me is to continue to the most rural of our already distant and rural areas as quickly as supplies can be obtained and transported 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 donation funds will be done Monday the 4th to continue the relief urgently needed. This is not the time to stop the help arriving to our villagers. We are cognizant no help will arrive to our villagers for six or more weeks to come. They 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; no loss of human life. The teachers are eager to begin the new school year, the classrooms will be held in tents. There is a moratorium on any school opening for the next week per the government, which may be expanded because of the reality the structures have all been compromised.

Happily the water well at the school, Tow of the World – Nepal has not been contaminated. The water wells we with Poynton Rotary Group installed in 3 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 near 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. Directly donate here: https://fundraiser.processdonation.org/Fundraiser/donate.aspx?fid=9I4HE6375C

We remind you R Star is a 100% volunteer organization, no paid employees 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.