ELKHART, INDIANA (Mennonite Mission Network) – In the spring of 2014, Mennonite Mission Network secured funding from several sources to strengthen Rescue Network Nepal for the future.
Now, this organization is playing a vital role in disaster relief for remote villages after Nepal’s worst earthquake in 80 years, which struck the Asian nation on April 25.
Rescue Network Nepal, a Mission Network partner, is providing first aid, food, water, clothing and medicine in places where there are few other local resources. RNN’s primary purpose is to train villagers how to provide first-aid treatment to persons suffering traumatic accidents – especially highway accidents. But now, RNN’s staff have been first responders to the earthquake-injured, serving alongside those they have trained. RNN has also provided tarps and tents to homeless people, which has been particularly vital as rain has struck the disaster areas as well. RNN reported helping at least 280 people during the first week after the quake.
Download full resolution image.
The United Nations has said the quake, which registered a magnitude of 7.8, has affected more than 8 million people across 39 districts. The death toll has surpassed 5,200 and more than 9,000 have been injured. Deaths have also been reported in India, China and Tibet. Aftershocks have subsided, but remain a concern in Nepal.
“… After the massive quake, our rescue volunteers are immediately mobilized to the most affected areas, like the northern part of Makwanpur District and southern part of Lalitpur District,” said Shem Maharjan, RNN’s rescue coordinator. “… In southern Lalitpur, in Bhattadanda, Nayagaun, one village nearby, in those places almost every house was collapsed and some people were trapped inside. We took some of the injured people to the nearby Anandaban hospital and Chapagaun Primary Health Center.”
Mission Network workers in Nepal were able to quickly report their own safety. Dale Nafziger, and his wife, Bethsaba, who own and operate Top of the World Coffee, a café in Kathmandu, say they fortunately had little to no damage to their home and shop, though the region is devastated. They were able to reopen the café and are contributing to the relief efforts.
Download full resolution image.
The Nafzigers have made their shop available to staff to “both live with us and eat with us until things reach a state of normality, albeit, a new normal.”“Please pray for funds and resources to continue our rescue mission,” said Maharjan of RNN.
Nepal’s population is about 31 million. The government of Nepal estimates 150,000 tarpaulins or tents are needed to house homeless people during the upcoming Monsoon season (June-August). About 1.4 million people need immediate food aid.
The Nafzigers advise that not only is investment in immediate humanitarian aid needed, but also funds to support the long-term efforts to rebuild communities.
While major international organizations will do much good in relieving the suffering in Nepal, Rescue Network Nepal will need to depend mostly on its existing network of supporters, including Mennonite Mission Network.
Visit MennoniteMission.net/Donate to support Mission Network’s Earthquake Response in Nepal.