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It has been 5 months since the earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks hit Nepal.  There were two earthquakes in 2015; April 24th and May 12th.  Since April 24th aftershocks continued almost every day for the next 2 months.  The epicenter of the earthquake, and the fallowing aftershocks, were in the Kathmandu area, and a further six regions around the Nepalese capital were badly affected.  Many villages had been completely destroyed, and many people moved to new locations and to this day are still living in tent camps.  Once the aftershocks had stopped completely, and no more mention of Nepal in the world news, financial support from the West began to slow down quickly.  Despite this, our fund of independent journalism, tentatively called BLIF (Big Love International Foundation), continued to raise funds to help victims of the earthquake in Nepal.  Additionally, we have organized and registered an NGO called “Blossom Sustainability Project Pty Ltd” in Australia, which now officially raises funds in support of Nepal; I am one of its directors. The others are Joost Mattheijssen, Daniel Novikov and Marie
After seven weeks spent in Russia I returned to Nepal to implement a project for the construction of toilets for the most unprotected Nepali populations - single women and people of retirement age who have no support from relatives.
After several exploratory trips around the Telkot district the situation become clear; whilst I was not in the country everyone in Telkot area received a shelter.  The government of Nepal has issued 15,000 rupees (about $150) to each victimized family; many have taken loans for a small percentage from the local communities, and for those who could not take the credit volunteers helped to build a simple shelter from the materials remaining from destroyed houses.
The lack of toilets is still one of the main problems in these affected areas and it is the root cause of the rapid spread of infectious diseases.  Oxfam has organized, together with Enpho, the creation of four toilets.  Construction of these toilets will cost 15,000 rupees, so at the moment we can build a maximum of nine toilets.
The project will commence later in autumn.  Our Australian colleagues from the Blossom Sustainability NGO will continue working in the Telkot area, so fundraising is still active.

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в помощь Непалу

Прошло почти 5 месяцев с начала землетрясения и последующих афтершоков в Непале. Напомню, что непосредственно землетрясений было два – 24 апреля и 12 мая 2015 года. Однако после 24 апреля «трясло» почти каждый день и ночь на протяжении почти двух месяцев. Эпицентр землетрясений и афтершоков находился в районе горы Эверест и Катманду, таким образом, сильно пострадали 6 районов вокруг непальской столицы. Много деревень полностью разрушены, люди переехали и многие до сих пор живут в палаточных лагерях. После того, как афтершоки прекратились и упоминаний о Непале больше нет в мировых новостях, финансовая поддержка запада начала таять на глазах. Однако в наш фонд независимой журналистики, условно названным BLIF (Big Love International Fundation) продолжали поступать средства в помощь пострадавшим от землетрясения в Непале. Помимо этого мы организовали и зарегистрировали НГО (негосударственную организацию) «Blossom sustainability project pty ltd» в Австралии, теперь официально занимающейся сбором средств для работы в Непале и я стала одним из его директоров.
Так, спустя 7 недель, проведённых в России, я вернулась в Непал, чтоб реализовать проект строительства туалетов представителям наиболее незащищённых слоёв – одиноким женщинам и людям пенсионного возраста, у которых нет поддержки со стороны. После нескольких разведочных походов по окрестностям райцентра Телкот, ситуация более-менее прояснилась. За 7 недель, что меня не было в стране, укрытия построили всем. Государство Непала выдало по 15 000 рупий (около 150 долларов) на каждую пострадавшую семью, многие взяли кредиты под небольшой процент в местных сообществах, тем, кто взять кредиты не мог, помогли волонтёры и построили укрытия из вторсырья. Однако отсутствие туалетов по-прежнему одна из основных проблем в пострадавших районах, поскольку она является первопричиной быстрого распространения инфекционных заболеваний в окрестностях. До нас в этом районе работал Oxfam, совместно с организацией Enpho, в районе было построено 4 туалета.
Строительство одного туалета обойдётся в 15 000 рупий (150 долларов), так, в данный момент у нас хватит средств лишь на 8 - 9 штук. Но проект будет продолжаться и позже этой осенью в районе Телкот будут работать наши австралийские коллеги из НГО «Blossom sustainability project pty ltd», потому сбор средств продолжается.



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Telkot as remote

Some time ago one activist friend in Nepal made the point that foreigners are now focusing so much on remote mountain areas and almost nothing is being done regarding the victims around Kathmandu.  The friend said that in the city itself and its suburbs, and in such places which can be easily reached by bus, there are still a lot of areas where people have not yet even received a first-aid.

And this is true.  A good example is the Telkot village in the Bhaktapur district, which is only two hours away from the center of Kathmandu.  The sum total of the humanitarian aid in Telkot is a few awnings (which Telkot's activists obtained after many appeals to government) and 10 shelters (from the NGO Project 'Udaya Aawas') which is almost nothing for an area which has more than 150 families who are beyond poor.  The 150 families who still haven't got any help are single women with children, old people, invalids, and lower casts who, out of lack of education, cannot get decent jobs.

We went to the Telkot area to investigate how, since being devastated by the earthquake, these people are now living.  On the first day we visited 10 families from the 60 poorest people of the area.  To these such people, some time ago, we independently distributed tents and food with the money we collected from friends around the world.

In the Himalayas, houses spread out over quite large distances, so we regularly have to go down and climb back up all the time.  Our progress was therefore very slow and in a day we could only reach 10 houses.  But we were able to observe a fair sample of houses, by which you can assess the overall situation around the village Telkot.


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Непал в лицах

Как верно заметил недавно один из гражданских независимых активистов, помогающих пострадавшим от землетрясения в Непале: «Иностранцы сейчас так сильно акцентируют внимание на отдалённых горных районах и практически ничего не говорится о пострадавших вокруг Катманду. Тем временем, как и в самом городе, так и в его окрестностях, в местах, куда можно легко добраться на автобусе всё ещё много районов, так и не получивших даже первой помощи, не говоря уже о реконструкции или строительстве укрытий».
И это правда. Так, например, в районе деревни Телкот Бхактапурского района, что всего в двух часах езды от центра Катманду, кроме нас и группы самоорганизации активистов медицинского центра Телкота, добившегося от правительства Непала некоторого количества тентов для самых бедных слоёв населения, а так же краткосрочного взаимодействия со НГО Project Udaya Aawas, спонсирующей возведение 10-ти укрытий из цинковых листов, район не получил другой помощи. Что такое 10 укрытий для местности, в которой 540 семей остались без крова?
Мы с Богданом Ш съездили на разведку в Телкот посмотреть, как живут некоторые из того списка людей, которым мы на собранные независимо средства отвозили до этого тенты и продукты питания.
Из 60-ти семей, получивших гуманитарную помощь за день нам удалось обойти 10. В Гималаях дома разбросаны на довольно большом расстоянии, приходится постоянно спускаться вниз и подниматься вверх. Потому за день обойти всех невозможно. Но, думаю, нам удалось увидеть наглядный срез, по которому можно оценить общую ситуацию района деревни Телкот.
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Rice and Dhal. Nepal

Under the heavy rain just delivered 60 bags of rice, dhal, tea, sugar, salt, veg.oil to Telkot VDC Bhaktapur district for the single women and invalids.
In Telkot VDC there is no NGO is working, so people there in all this time, more then 2 months since the earthquake started, did not get almost any help. A week before we delivered them 60 tents and some stuff for kids (albums, color pancils, cryons, cpoybooks).
Thanx to Bogdan Shm, Mugiel Miguel Khasanov, Marie Cerniaut, Tatiana Fedorova and BLIF foundation .

Под проливным дождём отвезли 60 мешков риса в Телкот (Бхактапурский район), дал, сахар, масло, чай. Для одиноких женщин и инвалидов.
В деревне Телкот не работает ни одно НГО и люди там до сих пор не получили почти никакой помощи. В прошлый раз мы завезли им тенты и небольшие подарки для детей (альбомы, тетради, мелки, карандаши).
Спасибо Богдан Ш., Miguel Khasanov, Marie Cerniaut, Tatiana Fedorova и фонду BLIF


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Humanitarian aid for Telkot VDC, Nepal.

The first time I heard about the Telkot village in the Bhaktapur district in Nepal was from Mary. She sent me an email explaining, that in the 6 weeks from the earthquake, there still was not any humanitarian help in this village. Before this letter I didn’t know Mary; she was a friend of my husband Joost. A few years ago Mary and Joost rescued a little Nepali girl from slavery. Mary found this girl working heavily at one of the guest houses on a far off Himalayan trekking path. Joost and Mary spent a lot of time traveling to Nepal to find the girl's parents and making contact with human rights organizations in order to move the child out to Kathmandu. This story ended sadly however. It was agreed with the relatives of the girl that Joost (and another friend) would send the girl's family money each month to enable her studies at school and, therefore, so that the child would live in a family environment. A year later it became clear that the money, which continued to be sent every month, never reached the family.
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Mary, knowing that I was in Kathmandu, reached out to me from Australia and asked me to contact her Nepalese friends (who rarely had access to emails). This is how I was introduced to Telkot village. The village is situated on the famous tourist road between Bhaktapur and Nagarkot. Nagarkot is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Kathmandu neighborhood, and from here a lot of treks commence. The road from Kathmandu to Telkot is pretty good by Nepalese standards; it has asphalt. However, for some reason, the humanitarian aid had still not reached this far.

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The earthquakes on the 25th April and 12th May destroyed 530 houses in the Telkot district. 540 families were left homeless and two schools were completely destroyed. The medical community of Telkot previously received only a small amount of assistance from the government, and after the earthquake government medical involvement ended. 150 families in the area are from lower castes, in addition to "women without men" (a widow, single mothers, or elderly women without any support). The government aid was precisely enough to set up one small accommodation tent near some of the ruined houses, and to provide cover for the most immediate assistance. Families have to live on the first floor of their destroyed houses; a Nepalese family is usually 8 - 12 people and they cannot fit all in a one small tent. With the rainy season starting two weeks previous, people were still using the first floors of their destroyed homes, which can collapse from damage and moisture at any time.

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I have visited the area four times in the last month whilst trying to gather the necessary information on the Telkot area for Mary, who was engaged in the registration of NGOs in Australia arranging help for the victims in Nepal. In the meantime, my personal friends who want to help Nepal but have no idea of the best way to do so, continued to send me money for the victims of earthquake. A few days ago I got a call from my Ukrainian friend Andrew; his friend had "left him a pack of Nepalese rupees" and suggested that "we should celebrate it". For activists this means we go to the affected areas and try to provide some form of humanitarian aid.

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Initially Andrew wanted to go to the Yalmo village area, but after meeting in Kathmandu with other activists in this village, it became clear that the initial aid was no longer necessary because the district operates with a local NGO. People in the areas that have received initial aid are now waiting for the rainy season to finish in order to start reconstruction, and construction of new houses. This secondary goal is already estimated at tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are still focused on the initial aid, because right now there are people in the mountains hardly able to cope with the monsoon.

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In Telkot we compiled a list of 50 people in urgent need of basic shelters. This list includes "women without men" and the disabled and unemployed people of lower castes. So in Kathmandu we bought 60 18hx12m tents, colored pencils, crayons and sketching material for children.

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The finances behind this venture are -

TOTAL INCOME NRP 85,878
Emil (Bulgaria) $120
Daniel Novikov (Australia) NRP 24,284
Free Shop De Novel (A'dam) €25 euro
Andrei (Ukraine) NRP 47,094

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TOTAL EXPENDITURE NRP 85,878
Awnings 60 pcs 18h12 NRP 78,000 (NRP 1,300 per Unit)
120 Drawing books NRP 2,040 (NRP 17 per unit)
144 packs pencils & crayons NRP 5,220
Transportation costs NRP 1,638

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On 28th June 2015 (13th March 2072 according the Nepalese calendar) humanitarian aid was delivered to the affected area of Telkot village. 42 people came to pick up the awnings. For the eight families who were not able to come in person, the activists of Telkot delivered the awnings to their homes. There were 10 extra awnings which were left for Telkot community. Based on our prior experience of trips like this we knew that there was always the need of extra aid in these remote areas. So, this time instead of 50 awnings, we brought 60. In Nepal, thin iron sheets are the most necessary component for the construction of temporary shelters. Depending on the size of the sheet the cost varies from 4 to 7 dollars apiece. Shelters covered with iron sheets can last 7-10 years, compared to the more simple awnings which will not survive more then 1-2 seasons. During a meeting with the activists in Telkot village the suggestion was made that we should shift the focus to raising funds for a reliable shelter. Such a fund raising task is fundamentally much more challenging than the organization of funds of independent travelers journalists. If we want to help Nepal further, all of us need these two or three seasons living “under a awning" in order to retrieve and send all the energy and intentional flows in the right direction.

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Larissa Matteyssen, Kathmandu.
photos: Andrew Kostyuk
English edition: James Ward

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О деревне Телкот Бхактапурского района в Непале мне написала француженка Мэри. До этого письма мы с Мэри не были знакомы, но с нею был знаком Ёст. Несколько лет назад Ёст и Мэри были заняты вызволением маленькой непальской девочки из высокогорного гималайского рабства, куда её отдали её родители потому, что прокормить ребёнка им представлялось невозможным. Тогда Ёст и Мэри потратили несколько месяцев и поездок в Непал, чтоб разыскать родителей девочки, связаться с правозащитными организациями и перевезти ребёнка из гор в Катманду. Девочка работала при одном из гэстхаузов на пути одного из сложных отдалённых треккингов. История та закончилась, впрочем, печально. С родственниками была договорённость о том, что Ёст и ещё один товарищ будут высылать семье девочки деньги ежемесячно на обучение и, таким образом, ребёнок будет жить в семье. Через год же выяснилось, что посылаемые деньги так никогда до семьи и не дошли.



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Rebuild Nepal

Оригинал взят у chaika_stal в Rebuild Nepal
There are six noted districts in Nepal that were most affected by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks: Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot, Kabhrapalchok, Dhading, Gorkha and Dolakha. Delivery of humanitarian aid in these areas are led by volunteers of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Kathmandu. Often the NGO leaders are businessmen who grew up in these rural areas, went to the city and became successful in their business pursuits, or they are monks of high rank (Tulku, Lama Geshe) with access to financial resources.
The general goal of these NGOs are to help support the hometown villages and districts from where the leaders of NGO’s are from. Monastery affiliated NGOs with sizeable funds are not as concentrated on certain areas and have the capacity to send aid to areas in need according to information provided by locals. Before the earthquake, both of these Nepalese NGO types engaged in providing free medical care in their areas, sponsorship of schools, provision of school supplies to children from poor families, supply of seeds and seedlings for the people.

Picture by Neel's Shahi archive


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Positive in Negative. Nepal.

Оригинал взят у chaika_stal в Positive in Negative. Nepal.
I met Alice and Andrew, as well as many other outstanding people, at the monastery of shaman Lama Wangdu Rinpoche near the Bodhanath stupa in Kathmandu. It was somewhere around two weeks after the earthquake had started in Nepal. Andrei from Kiev, as well as a lot of my other friends from Ukraine, had 8 months ago started their “around the world trip”. Alice had been travelling for 2 years already.
Back home Alice has only one family member – her grandmother. 2 years ago she flew to Thailand with a one-way ticket and 100 dollars in her pocket. With no plans, any support, but with the desire for change. Alice firmly descended from a gangway aircraft onto the shaky ground of Indochina. I know about 5 more stories like that between my friends. All of them have been on their way now for 2, 3, or even 4 years.
Photo by Andrew Kostiuk

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Оригинал взят у chaika_stal в Позитив в негативе. Непал
С Алисой и Андреем, как и с многими другими выдающимися людьми, я познакомилась в монастыре Бонповского шамана Ламы Вангду Ринпоче, где-то недели через две после начала землетрясения в Непале. Андрей из Киева, как и многие другие знакомые мне киевляне, уже 8 месяцев прибывал в состоянии кругосветного путешествия. Алиса в этом состоянии на момент нашей встречи находилась уже 2 года.
2 года назад Алиса из России, где у неё из родственников одна бабушка, улетела в Таиланд с билетом в один конец и 100 долларами в кармане. Без планов на будущее, какой-либо поддержки, но с ощутимым желанием перемен Алиса твёрдо сошла с трапа самолёта на зыбкую почву Индокитая. Таких, историй как эта, среди моих друзей я знаю ещё штук 5. И все они до сих пор в пути кто 2, кто 3, кто 4 года.

фото Андрей Костюк
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