The devastating earthquake in Nepal on April 25th took thousands of lives, injured scores more, and destroyed an estimated one million buildings, including family homes, schools, temples, monasteries and shrines. These losses are catastrophic in a country where the per capita income is less than two dollars a day. Hospitals are overloaded and there is a shortage of medical equipment and supplies. Thousands of people are displaced, and have no homes to return to. Many are mothers with newborns.
NYF's immediate goal is relief: We will get medical equipment to hospitals, temporarily convert our existing nutritional clinics in Kathmandu and Pokhara to "recovery centers" to shelter patients discharged from hospitals but too sick to return home, buy tents and blankets for families, and help women and children staying in emergency shelters by providing food, safe water and toys for the children. When we turn from rescue to rebuilding, we will train young people in the construction trades.
Relief efforts may take several months and the monsoon season will make the situation worse, but we will use our experience over the last 25 years providing food, water and shelter and building classrooms and nutritional centers to provide disaster relief. Once the rescue is over, there will be massive reconstruction projects and a great need for skilled construction workers. We will train 1,000 young people in our Vocational Education program to rebuild the seismically safe homes.