Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal

by IsraAID
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Emergency Relief for Earthquake Struck Nepal
Community Theater Program for Children and Youth
Community Theater Program for Children and Youth

Dear supporter, 

IsraAID Nepal still needs your help – see our ongoing Nepal Recovery project here on GlobalGiving – Holistic Rehabilitation for Post-Earthquake Nepal, ID 20617 to donate. 

On Giving Tuesday, November 29th– your donation will be 50% matched by the Gates Foundation! 

Please find below a short update from the field:

IsraAID's HoneyAID progam has trained 215 women and helped them build a thriving cooperative so they can feed themselves and their 1,075 family members. The women are from rural villages that were badly affected by the earthquake and most of them are from the marginalized Tamang ethnic group. They are between 16 and 60 years old and are all married with children.

Most the women testify that in addition to the financial gain, they are also feeling better, stronger and confident since they joined the beekeeping venture.

From the field this week: A very special beekeeping training program was just completed at SIRC - a Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Center in Kavre district. The 16-day training program is geared towards creating a way forward for those physically challenged by spinal injuries - a needy population that is much discriminated against in a country with very poor infrastructure and rough terrain.

At the same time, IsraAID Nepal just launched a new theater tour with a brand-new team of professional actors - to educate and advocate for children’s rights and protection from trafficking, abuse, and slavery.

The script tackles a variety of risks and harmful situations that are  common among Nepal's children. This innovative drama increases awareness amongst the young generation on domestic violence, abuse at school, social media threats and more. The main objective of the program is to promote healthy and happy development during childhood, and protecting children from possible harm and abuse.

To date, the theater crew visited 10 schools in 6 districts, reaching thousands of kids and their families.

Community Theater Program
Community Theater Program
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Krishna Kumari
Krishna Kumari

One Year Has Passed and Nepal Still Needs Your Help, Now More Than Ever!

25/04/2016

Kathmandu, Nepal -- Exactly one year ago, Nepal was struck by the first of several massive earthquakes, killing over 8,000 people and injuring more than 21,000. Immediately, governments and international organizations like IsraAID mobilized to provide emergency support and save lives.

IsraAID’s Search and Rescue team was proud to find and recover the last survivor buried under the rubble, Krishna Kumari – (see story http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-aid-team-reunited-with-nepalese-woman-rescued-fromrubble/), and the below picture of her recently after months of medical support and physical therapy sponsored by IsraAID). Our Medical Mobile Units stayed for months in the country, treating over 4,000 people, and reaching far flung villages that never received aid nor medical attention.

For weeks after the earthquake, the ground continued to shake, and fear, shock, and grief became to turn into trauma and worries of long-term effects rose. To combat this, and the many other consequences of the chaos, among them trafficking and domestic violence, IsraAID launched psychosocial programs to raise awareness and support local governmental and civil society social workers, mental health clinicians, and outreach staff from the most affected districts.

For those that supported us during this time, on behalf of our staff, volunteers, and the communities we serve, we would like to extend to you our kind gratitude and appreciation. Your support was indispensable.

Yet beyond the dead and the injured, and the emergency needs, the most terrifying effect of the earthquake was felt in the loss of homes, schools, jobs, income, and an overall sense of hope. Over 500,000 homes were destroyed, and in the ensuing winter, long after the news and the aid had shifted to other disasters and crises, tens of thousands starved, and many lives were lost.

Now, a year later, the effects continue to be felt, as the Nepalese society as a whole struggles to recover, rebuild, and move towards a better future.

To tackle this problem, we initiated long-term projects in Nepal to answer the needs in the most durable and effective way, and emphasize sustainability. Our programs include educational support and young leadership programming, and capacity-building programs for local entities (NGO, Hospitals, Universities) working on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) issues, as well as medical camps and other critically needed projects and humanitarian response. 

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

IsraAID launched the “A Roof for All” program, building 685 semi-permanent structures for the most affected villages (see pictures below).

We also inaugurated our “Women Empowerment & Livelihood” program, focusing on community-based psychosocial support training and income generation (bee-keeping) – reaching over 3000 women from 6 districts.

The following is a testimony from one of our trainees in the HoneyAID – Women empowerment through sustainable beekeeping program:

I Lost my House and all that I had, I Lost all hope after the earthquake… When IsraAID reached to our village, and we built shelters for all the community and received beekeeping training and beehives, We started to see things differently. We are able to rebuild hope and to see the future in a positive way” (Mrs. L, 48, Chatury Village)

And another testimony from a Teacher training for Child Trauma prevention post-earthquake as part of IsraAID’s Mental Health and Psychosocial support capacity building Project.

“I have taken lots of training in my lifetime during my 18 years’ service as a teacher, But the one provided by IsraAID was different, it was practical implacable in the classroom and really effective in my point of view. I feel I have more tools and confident.” (Teacher, Sindhupalchowk)

                 

Unfortunately, despite these efforts, Nepal remains in crisis, and hundreds of thousands are still in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

To assist them, we are appealing to you, those who kindly supported our response in the past, to join hands with us and Global Giving, and respond to the crisis unfolding in Nepal.

Today, for a limited time, Global Giving has generously agreed to match donations to our Nepal program. Please visit https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/holistic-rehabilitation-for-post-earthquake-nepal/

With your help, we will continue supporting Nepal through these challenging times, and keep on providing the most robust, effective and efficient support we can to help Nepalese families, communities, and the government together build a better and brighter future.

Thank You. 

Psychosocial programming
Psychosocial programming
IsraAID Shelter
IsraAID Shelter
Medical Response
Medical Response
HoneyAID Participant
HoneyAID Participant
Community Theatre Awareness Raising Campaign
Community Theatre Awareness Raising Campaign

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Syrian refugees
Syrian refugees

It's been 7 months since the April 25th earthquake in Nepal, and the need for long term recovery programs is even more urgent due to the blockade in the India Nepal border. While we continue to provide emergency support for the Nepali people, IsraAID is also providing medical and psycho social support for thousands of Syrian refugees in Greece and Croatia.

For more details about this program please follow this link:

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergency-relief-for-refugees-arriving-in-europe/

Below is a summary of our activities in Nepal:

Search and Rescue (SAR): A 15 member team was in Nepal for 9 days retrieving bodies, and even against all odds rescuing a survivor after 5 days stuck under the rubble. Her incredible story can be found at

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-aid-team-reunited-with-nepalese-woman-rescued-fromrubble/.

The team focused on the worst hit areas of Gongabu in Kathmandu (where hundreds of people were buried alive), and Sindhupalchok district. The team collaborated closely with the Nepalese army and armed police force, as well as with international teams from Mexico, Korea, Poland, France and Norway.Following a request from the Nepalese government, all SAR teams left the country by the end of the following week.

Health: IsraAID Medical Emergency Relief (MER) team headed by epidemiologist expert Prof. Mick Elkan, was dispatched to Nepal within days after the earthquake to respond to the emerging needs, and assist the Nepalese government and international actors in the short- and long-term recovery plans. The medical team has worked in five main locations: Kathmandu (Bir Hospital), Sidhupalchowk (Dhap VDC), Gorkha (Uhiya VDC), Nuwakot (Khani Gaun) and Lalitpur (Karyabikayak Municipality) assisting with patient treatment and providing on-going support to clinics and hospitals, hand-inhand with the Nepalese medical staff. By the end of the project the team has examined and treated over 4000 patients. In the months of September and October 2015, we held two medical camps in one of the worst affected district (sindhopalchok) which included a woman gynecologist and treated more than 500 patients and provided free medicine. The medical team also provided a check-up visit to a mentally challenged women center.

Shelter IsraAID launched its "A Roof for All" program in 3 earthquake affected districts to provide safe and sturdy transitional shelter for thousands of displaced families who have lost their homes. As a partner of the Shelter Cluster in Nepal, IsraAID's technical teams are working alongside government agencies, and other INGOs to provide transitional housing solutions that are low cost and suitable for the conditions in Nepal. IsraAID's "A Roof for All" program provided 420 houses to families in 3 districts, and on the process of building 300 more in a fourth district. In Lalitpur Districts we have built a "town shelter" community compound in which beside housing, we also provided clean drinking water, safe toilets, kitchen garden, solar electricity and study centre for children of the community.

 Psycho - Social Support (PSS) In Nepal IsraAID is a key technical partner in the effort to build and implement a national PSS response strategy, and resulting PSS activities. The program so far has targeted social workers, mental health clinicians, and outreach staff (of local and international NGOs) from the most affected districts, and has provided training on Psychological First Aid (PFA), resilience building, diversifying coping mechanism, gender-based violence, grief care, and self-care. The ultimate purpose of these activities is to prevent long-term trauma related disorders, build resilience and social connection for communities heavily affected by the 2015 earthquake, and to encourage the reintegration of child and adult survivors and the processing of grief for those who have lost family or friends. The team is working with more partners to provide technical support and supervision in the area of Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support. The project will provide technical assistance to the local NGOs and other institutions in the areas of PSS and PFA (Psycho-social First Aid), art therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, and group counseling.

Livelihood IsraAID have initiated the "HoneyAID" project, a women empowerment by beekeeping. In this program, groups of women from villages affected by the earthquake will get beekeeping training and support, 3 beehives with local bee, environmental friendly methods and a support centre that will be the packaging and marketing centre and will provide more beehives. The women will form a agro enterprise cooperative that is owned by them and will invest some of the profit back in the community (as in auxiliary training, scholarships for girls). Till date, we have trained the first 2 groups of a total of 69 women. In addition, we renovated and established "HoneyAID farm" which will support the project as it scale up.

Thanks for all your support and happy thanks giving!!

Nepal school kits
Nepal school kits
Nepal shelters
Nepal shelters
Honey aid Nepal
Honey aid Nepal

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20/05/2015

Though IsraAID's activities in Nepal continue, the time has come for the organization to begin shifting its focus to longer term holistic rehabilitation. For more details please visit - https://goto.gg/20617 

SEARCH AND RESCUE (SAR) & MEDICAL EMERGENCY RELIEF (MER)

Teams of Search and Rescue (SAR) and Medical Emergency Relief (MER) were dispatched to Nepal within days of the earthquake to respond to needs as they arise, and assist the Nepalese government and international actors in the short- and long-term recovery plans. With construction codes unfollowed, and population density extremely high, injuries are plenty, and already feeble national medical services continue to struggle to deal with the extent of injuries. Traditional medical facilities are overrun, while a need has been identified for mobile clinics to reach difficult of access areas.

Search and Rescue (SAR): A 15 member team was in Nepal for 9 days retrieving bodies, and even against all odds rescuing a survivor after 5 days stuck under the rubble. The team focused on the worst hit areas of Gongabu in Kathmandu (where 12 people were buried alive), and Sindupalchok district. The team collaborated closely with the Nepalese army and armed police, as well as with international teams from Mexico, Korea, Poland, France, Noway, and India. Following a request from the Nepalese government, all SAR teams left the country by the end of the following week.

Within days, a Medical Emergency Relief (MER) teamheaded by Prof. Mick Elkan, an epidemiologist expert, was sent to support and strengthen existing hospitals, clinics and medical institutions.

Focusing on IsraAIDs ability to reach difficult of access areas, the team coordinated with UN agencies and the Nepalese Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to identify far-flung villages with high damage reports that were unlikely to receive medical attention quickly. The team then walked, drove, and took helicopters to reach 5 different areas (Melamchi, Uhiya, Bungamati, and Ganeshtan) across the most affected districts of Sindupalchok, Nuwakot, Gorkha, and Dhading in Nepal.

To date, over 1,000 people have been treated by IsraAIDs MER team, with 2 critical patients, including an infant baby, requiring airlifts to Kathmandu. In addition, drawing on expertise unavailable in these areas, several more severe cases were treated by IsraAIDs orthopedic doctor: 5 people were in need of casts, one of them was an 8 year old boy with a femur fraction who was anesthetized to receive reduction and cast.

In addition, the team has been providing on-going support to local hospitals in the capital in the areas of pediatrics, internal medicine and neonatal care. After the second earthquake on May 12th, the team mobilized within minutes and saved all 7 babies from the neonatal ward of the Grande International hospital’s neonatal unit by rushing to set up a temporary ward outside after the building was deemed unsafe. The ward was home to both Nepalese and foreign premature neonates, including 4 Israeli ones.

 

PsychoSocial Services (PSS)

The psychological effects of the earthquake on the population, their families, communities, and the emergency responders are wide ranging and long lasting. The need to provide psychosocial support (PSS) to people during this time is critical to building resilience to enable them to develop long-term coping strategies to counteract the stresses brought about by the earthquake, , and regain a sense of normalcy.  In Nepal, IsraAID is collaborating both with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) and the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), and has recently been designated by UNICEF Nepal as a key technical expert on Mental Health and PsychoSocial Services (MHPSS), effectively recommending IsraAID take a lead role in developing the capacity of the over 50 partners involved in the MHPSS national response strategy.

 

The training program being developed targets social workers, mental health clinicians, and outreach staff (of local and international NGOs) from the most affected districts, and provides training on Psychological First Aid (PFA), resilience building, diversifying coping mechanism, gender-based violence, grief care, and self-care. The ultimate purpose of these activities is to prevent long-term trauma related disorders, create resilience and social connection for children and adults living in communities heavily affected by the 2015 earthquake, and to encourage the reintegration of child and adult survivors and the processing of grief for those who have lost family or friends. Finally, the training will also enable service-providers to avoid burnout and vicarious (secondary) trauma through self-care modules.

To date, IsraAID has conducted workshops for over 100 social work professionals and students, focusing first and foremost on PSS activities to meet immediate needs before engaging in long-term training programs. Following the national response strategy, these efforts have targeted Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) and the Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camps.

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Gongabu area - now known as the "Israeli site"
Gongabu area - now known as the "Israeli site"

Nothing can prepare you for that moment you meet a survivor trapped under the rubble.

Five days after the earth shook the capital of Nepal and its outskirts, I found myself deep inside the wreckage of what was once a modest guesthouse.

In fact, IsraAID’s entire Search and Rescue (SAR) team has been working on the ground, or more accurately, under the ground, for the last few days in the heart of the devastated Gongabu district of Kathmandu, now referred to by locals and internationals as simply, ‘the IsraAID site’.

Looking back, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster with highs and lows as well as a complicated mix of the two. As I’ve come to realize from Prabad, a 14 year old boy we met searching for his family, the discovery of a body in the wreckage, even if it is your little sister’s, is actually both a high and a low (see 2nd Blog Report).

Working around the clock, it’s easy to lose all track of time. Although every disaster is so vastly different and unique, there is still one principle that guides all IsraAID relief missions – the respect, dignity and the crucial involvement of the local community.

I’m aware this sounds great ‘on paper’ but, having worked with IsraAID teams in places like the Philippines, Japan, Sierra Leone and most recently in Vanuatu, this does make all the difference.

During our daily debriefing sessions in Nepal, we recognize our ability to adapt quickly to the reality on the ground, and having travelled ‘light,’ (in favour of accessing resources locally), allowed for greater flexibility and speed in this impossible race against time.

But there’s still more to this story.

We know we cannot do this alone. Although we are newcomers here, we take the time to get to know our neighbours. We learn not only the names, but also the stories of all 22 people buried under the vast pile of rubble in and around the ‘IsraAID site’.

And so, we set out on the gruesome task of trying to search and rescue any remaining survivors and bodies. Five days on, I admit, I wasn’t feeling very optimistic.

But there was something about Sumi, a 16 year old resident of one of the collapsed buildings that gave us hope. In her vibrant pink jacket, she described how her beloved uncle was one of the 22 still missing.

Sumi stayed close, helped out, offered drinks and chit chatted with the team. She was anxious, concerned and still very much in shock.

Speaking to the residents, it’s clear that the need for emotional and psychological support is critical as the impact of this disaster begins to sink in. Basic food, water, clothing and shelter are not the only urgent needs right now. Returning home, gathering personal belongings and parting with the past, is a crucial part of the long term recovery of an individual and community following such a disaster.

IsraAID continues to work around the world providing psycho-social support to communities years after a disaster has hit. We work in places like Haiti, Japan, Philippines, Iraq, Jordan, Western Africa and South Sudan and our plans are to do so here as well.

Yet, with regular aftershocks, the return home in this densely populated urban setting, is even more difficult and dangerous. Eran Magen, IsraAID’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team leader assesses the structural damages to Sumi’s building. We then accompany her as she scrambles to find a few of her most precious belongings. Some family photos, school books and a childhood teddy bear.

All the while, our team continues to work a few feet below us.

We’re suddenly told that a sound was heard coming from under the rubble. Is it real or imagined?

We all gather to listen.

I yell out in Nepalese, “Is anyone there?”

We hear a faint sound.

We realize, someone may be alive and trapped inside.

We immediately call for additional support and for the next 5 hours we work into the night, leading and coordinating an incredible team of over 130 international Search and Rescue experts in cooperation with the local authorities. A group from Mexico and Norway work closely with us. A French team joins in and brings a ‘life scanner’. We are amazed to find, it detects a heartbeat!

We continued manipulating mangled wires, broken pipes and concrete slabs. We carefully remove stone after stone with the help of hundreds of local volunteers. Our neighbours come together and bring tools, buckets and boxes, anything to help expedite the process of clearing a safe path.

IThe community comes together to assist.

An outpour of support is shown as a constant flow of people bring food, snacks and water. People who have just lost everything, still living under tarpaulins on the streets, are incredibly generous.

As the treacherous work continues, we think we hear breathing.

I call out again, “Is anyone there?”

“Duka cha.”

I am utterly stunned to hear a woman’s voice cry back, “I’m hurt.”

At that moment, any ounce of skepticism I’ve ever had completely dissipates. Clearly, miracles do happen.

I immediately try to reassure the woman. I ask her to try and stay calm and very still. We had cleared a deep path in the wreckage in order to reach her, but one wrong move and the reinforcements could buckle, causing the fragile layers above to collapse on all of us.

Eran continues to direct the work while crawling deeper inside the ruins. He finds a body of a man obstructing the way.

We work carefully to remove the body and wonder who it is we just recovered. His body clearly saved the woman we’re trying to reach below by cushioning the blow of the massive impact and creating a life-saving air pocket.

A family member identifies the body. We’re told the man is Sumi’s dear uncle.

It’s a critical moment, and our team must work quickly. We finally get a glimpse of a young woman. We call for a medic who carefully inserts an IV to help rehydrate and stabilize her condition.

I wait a few minutes and then ask her name. She answers, “Krishna”.

We quickly learn that Krishna Devi is 24 and was working at the local guesthouse when the earthquake struck.

SAR Team member Inbal Bustan, who is also 24, stayed by Krishna’s side for the next few hours, reassuring her that everything would be over soon.

It was a long and intense rescue operation, but I’ll never forget the camaraderie formed among the hundreds of people who joined in. Donned in different clad and colours, from places near and far, it was an incredible moment of unity. All of us coming together to save a life.

As our team prepared for the final stage of the rescue operation, we simultaneously coordinate and count down in Hebrew, Nepalese and English.

That moment we saved Krishna Devi from under the rubble.

Sumi, 16 years old.
Sumi, 16 years old.
Returning home to gather precious belongings.
Returning home to gather precious belongings.
IsraAID Search and Rescue Team
IsraAID Search and Rescue Team
Coming together to assist.
Coming together to assist.
The team after the rescue
The team after the rescue

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Organization Information

IsraAID

Location: Tel Aviv, Merkaz - Israel
Website:
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Twitter: @IsraAID
Project Leader:
Navonel (Voni) Glick
Deputy Director / COO
Be'er Sheva, Be'er Sheva Israel

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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