Friends of Nepal is currently focusing all its efforts on earthquake relief. If you would like to donate, we would greatly appreciate your support. Your donation will be used to provide for basic human needs such as medical care, shelter and food. At an appropriate time the organization will switch its efforts to rebuilding.


Please share this link with others who may consider making a donation:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=CWEBCT8F344H6

Check payments can be mailed to:
Friends of Nepal
c/o Suzie Schneider
181 Mary Jo Lane
Sequim, WA 98382


28 Jan

Friends of Nepal Board Nominations

Friends of Nepal is accepting nominations for all board positions through February 6, 2016. One must be a member of FON to make a nomination, and also must be a member to be placed on the ballot. A member is defined as any individual who is a dues paying member. If you have made a donation within the past year of $15 or more your membership is considered active. Current nominees are listed here.

The following positions are open for nomination, each for a 2-year term: President, Treasurer, Secretary and five at-large positions. Each board member has a role, based on the board’s current needs and the skillsets of those elected. The board sets organizational policy and vision, and plays an active role in fundraising, grants management and communication with our membership. The time commitment ranges from approximately 1-5 hours per month and the board is encouraging nominations to bring new ideas and energy.

To make a nomination, please submit the following information to Tamara at nepal.newsletter@gmail.com. Self-nomination is acceptable.

  • Your name
  • Name of the person you are nominating
  • Position you are nominating for

Voting will take place electronically between February 8 and February 15.

 

27 Jan

Nepal RPCV Launches Kickstarter to Support Biodiversity in Nepal

RPCV Rajeev Goyal (N-193) has launched a kickstarter to fund a biodiversity project in Nepal. He is aiming to raise $100,000 to fund KTK-BELT (www.belt-project.org). They have 27 days left to raise the amount, and if they don’t make it, all funds will be returned to the donors. Rajeev has been deeply involved in development projects in Nepal since he COS’d in 2003. Click here for more information and to donate.

20 Jan

RPCV Uses Photos of Nepal to Fundraise for Earthquake Relief

RPCV Luke Golobitsh put together old photographs from his years in Peace Corps-Nepal to organize a fundraiser for earthquake victims. The photographs in the show, titled “Nepal Remembered, 1975-1978″, are not available for sale, but appreciative viewers can obtain a print if they donate to Nepal earthquake relief. Read more here.

20 Jan

FoN Funds Used to Provide Shelter to Thousands of Earthquake Victims

Soon after the earthquake last spring, Friends of Nepal donated $6000 to the Nepali NGO Phul Maya for emergency earthquake relief. They have recently contacted us to tell us how they used our donation.

In the immediate aftermath of the quake, Phul Maya distributed tarps in mountain villages badly damaged by the quake. Most of the families were Tamang and Magar subsistence farmers. Aid was slow in reaching these villages because the roads, difficult to traverse at any time, were badly damaged by the quake. 

Phul Maya located high-quality tarps in India and Thailand and shipped them to Nepal. In each village, small teams of local people were appointed to organize a fair distribution. To avoid fraud, every tarp recipient had to register and sign a receipt.
 
 
Phul Maya distributed 18,330 tarps and 450 solar lamps (using funding from both Friends of Nepal and other sources). Each tarp was enough for 10 people, so their eamergency tarp distribution program provided shelter for over 180,000 people. 
 
15 Dec

Friends of Nepal Board Elections Coming Up

Friends of Nepal will be holding Board elections in January. Each Board Member is elected to a two-year term. The positions, and the person who currently holds them, are listed below. Board membership is open to all members of Friends of Nepal and the National Peace Corps Association. If you are interested in running, please submit a 200-word biography detailing your background, your motivation for joining the Board, and your contributions to Friends of Nepal and/or the country of Nepal to info@friendsofnepal.com. Bios of the current candidates are available here.

 

29 Oct

Call for Applications for Earthquake Relief Projects

Friends of Nepal (FoN) is opening its application period for the final round of earthquake relief funding. Up to $15,000 is available for projects that have a large impact in areas directly affected by the May 2015 quake. Funds are not available for general program support. Proposals that address health/sanitation, education, livelihoods, and redevelopment are encouraged. Applicants must be sponsored by a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) from Nepal. The proposal must be submitted jointly with a signed cover letter from the RPCV and the organization’s executive or board chair. 
 
FoN is accepting two-page proposals until 9 November 2015 that address the application review criteria below. Please include a short paragraph about your organization and its track record in project development in Nepal, and a project budget. If other funding sources have committed financial support, please mention that in your narrative.
 
Review Criteria:
  1. Direct and positive impact on Nepali people
  2. Contribution and support from local community
  3. Project details
  4. Potential to expand or replicate project in other communities
  5. Prior experience or competency in project development
 
FoN expects to receive several qualified applications and may choose to fund several projects at partial levels. If your project can be successful with partial funding from FoN, please detail which components of the project would receive FoN funding. 
 
If you have questions or wish to run an idea by us prior to submitting an application, you can reach us at info@friendsofnepal.com orvalstori@yahoo.com.
 
Thank you for all you do for Nepal. We look forward to hearing from you.
17 Aug

A Volunteer Opportunity to Help with Earthquake Recovery in October

Don Messerschmidt (ex-Peace Corps Nepal-2, 1963-65) is putting together a volunteer opportunity to help with the ongoing work of rebuilding schools by the Gorkha Foundation, at the epicenter of the April 25 earthquake (EQ).  
 
The Gorkha Foundation (GF) spent May in the Relief Mode (distributing food, shelter, medical supplies, and other) and since June has been pursuing the Recovery Mode. For that, it has chosen to rebuild village schools. (Don was there in June/July.) 
 
It is estimated that 80% of all school buildings in the district were destroyed in the EQ, and that many of the remaining 20% were so badly damaged as to require serious renovation. Altogether some 3,000 classrooms were wrecked, and while the GF won’t rebuild all of them, there’s a list of over a dozen at which to begin. The first one, built over the monsoon, is nearing completion. Rebuilding others will begin in early October, before the Dasain and Tihar Holidays.
 
During the 1st two weeks of October, an all-volunteer based trip is being planned to Gorkha District to help with the construction of an Upper Secondary School (Classes 1 to 12) in a community seriously damaged by the EQ. 
 
The Gorkha Foundation (GF) is an volunteer-based 501(C)3 non-profit, registered both in the USA and in Nepal and Gorkha District. Thus, it qualifies as both an international non-governmental organization (INGO) and as a local NGO (LNGO). It’s presence in Gorkha District gives it local credibility, where it has operated since 2005. The GF is totally non-profit, with no overhead. All money from donations goes directly into its activities on the ground — both RELIEF (in the first month after the earthquake) and now RECOVERY (well intothe foreseeable future…, recovery will take a long time). You can read about the Foundation at http://gorkhafoundation.org and at http://on.fb.me/1M7Tf7x. Don is on the GF Board of Advisers.
 
The plan is to arrive in Nepal by September 30, then spend the next two weeks mostly in a village in Gorkha. The construction is overseen by a qualified Nepali engineer. Volunteers have several options to help — working on construction, or teaching a class (English, for example) or helping with computer literacy, or teaching and refereeing school sports activities. (Be creative and consider what you can do to help.) Besides overall organization and management of the trip, Don will also be documenting and writing stories to publish, to keep news and information about the earthquake, its aftermath (including many aftershocks), and recovery activities in the news.  
 
Along the way, group members will also briefly tour each of three significant historical sites in Gorkha: Manakamana Temple (one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in all Nepal), Gorakhnath temple and old palace in Gorkha Bazar, and LigLig Kot (an ancient fortress dating to Drabya Shah dating to 1559 AD, two centuries before Prithvi Narayan Shah unified the country). We will also visit Amp Pipal Community Hospital (near LigLig Kot), which is partially supported by the Gorkha Foundation. The Foundation’s other work, begun long before the earthquake, includes a popular micro-credit program for poor women, small agriculture and livestock projects, and significant aid to village schools, to literacy, and to assuring education for girls and the poor and underprivileged. 
 
The October trip is all-voluntary, and Don is working with an agent in Kathmandu to set the itinerary and come up with an overall cost. Every attempt is being made to keep the cost low. This is not a tourist trip; rather, it is a working trip with short side tours to see the cultural-historical side of Gorkha District. After the work in Gorkha, the group will also visit Pokhara briefly for R&R, before returning to Kathmandu on mid-October. 
 
Being a former Peace Corps Volunteer or speaking Nepali are not pre-requisites to joining the trip. Anyone is welcome to inquire. It will not be a strenuous trip; it’s not for trekking. Most of the time in Gorkha will be spent no higher than 5,500-6,000 feet, with a little walking each day to/from the school and guesthouse. 
 
If you are interested, contact Don by email at dmesserschmidt@gmail.com, or by phone at 360.256.8596 for more information. If you can’t join us but want to help, you can donate to help defray the cost of the trip, or contribute directly to the Gorkha Foundation in support of its program. 
17 Aug

Special Earthquake Edition of FoN Newsletter

FoN issued a special earthquake edition in July, with personal stories from volunteers, RPCVs, staff members, and aid workers who experienced the earthquake firsthand. Read it here

08 Jun

FoN Sends Funds for Earthquake Relief

It has been six weeks since we awoke to news of a horrifying 7.8 quake in Nepal. For a few days, the world watched a steady stream of shocking images of collapsed homes and terrified people. In those first days, friends of Nepal from around the world mobilized to help a devastated country. More than $60,000 was donated to Friends of Nepal in the first week after the quake, and we committed to spending the money to meet health-related needs.

In May, we transferred $30,000 to Patan Hospital, a private hospital in the Kathmandu valley. Doctors and nurses at Patan worked around the clock treating the injured, and the hospital kitchen fed dozens of people—patients, relatives of patients, neighbors—at no charge as well. As the influx of Kathmandu victims began to taper off, Patan began receiving injured patients from outlying districts who were airlifted into the valley. It was five days before the first staff members could go home to check on their own families and homes, and to get some sleep. As a private hospital, Patan is dependent on patient fees, but they asked for no payments in the first days after the quake, putting their duty to help the injured over the financial needs of the hospital.  Our donation helped refill their depleted coffers so they can continue to provide care in the future.

Another $6,000 was sent to the Nepali NGO Phul Maya in May to provide tarpaulins, medicine, food, soap, and other necessities in Kavre district, where more than 30,000 houses were destroyed and 150,000 people rendered homeless. With the rains already beginning, adequate shelter is crucial for preventing further injuries and disease. Phul Maya has a long history of effective development work in Kavre district, and they have already organized dozens of trucks which have delivered thousands of tarps and other necessities all over the district.

This week we are sending $30,000, through World Education, to rebuild schools in Dolakha district, a hard-hit area which hasn’t received as much assistance as some of the areas closer to Kathmandu. Admittedly, building schools is not the first thing that comes to mind in regards to health-related needs, but when a representative from Friends of Nepal visited the earthquake zone, re-opening schools was the number one request made by the local people. Life has been chaotic and unpredictable since the quake, and re-opening schools would provide children with a measure of normalcy and structure which will help them cope with the stress and anxiety they have suffered since the quake. This is a very cost-effective way to provide aid: since local communities have committed to providing the labor, just $1000 in construction materials is sufficient to build one school. We have already made arrangements for trucks and helicopters to carry construction materials in to remote villages before the monsoon hits in July and transportation becomes impossible.

Going forward, Friends of Nepal will be focusing on the long-term needs of people in the earthquake zone: schools and shelter. The $30,000 we sent for schools will build 30 temporary learning centers, but there are many more villages which have requested a center of their own. The monsoon is about to hit, and tarps and tents just aren’t enough when the rain is coming down in sheets. Over the long term, people will need help rebuilding actual houses. One of the most devastating aspects of the quake is that it hit hardest the people with the least resources. The mud huts of the poor were much more likely to collapse than the concrete houses of the better off. Friends of Nepal is still accepting donations for earthquake relief in Nepal. With our connections to local people and NGOs throughout the country, we are uniquely positioned to get aid into neglected areas. As the earthquake begins to recede from the forefront of international attention, let’s not forget that millions of people are still living with the effects of the earthquake every day.

©2008 Friends Of Nepal. All rights reserved.

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