7.9 EARTHQUAKE & School Reconstruction
Khalte -9, Kaule, Dhading , Nepal
NEPAL’S DEVESTATING 7.9 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE 10,000+ DEAD!
OUR JOURNEY AND THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF WHAT WE SAW:
By Chaski, Ashley & Connor
Upon arrival, it was a big challenge for the three of us. We didn’t know what we were about to do, but as with all of the Inti Raymi Fund projects we do, we show up with the simple idea of just helping and giving respect, focusing on the plight of the people.
We approached the Khalte Village with an open mind and only the idea of simply helping after this natural disaster. We were conscious about what why were going there, but we didn’t know how the conditions would be and how badly this earthquake affected the entire country of 30 million people. Everyone sees in the news something different, but if you really want to see something that blows your mind, you have to experience it directly for yourself. How can you possibly grasp the magnitude of this experience if you only sit on your couch and see news? It simply is not the same when you go and feel it and see it with your own eyes in a 360 panoramic view, along with smells and other senses. It changes your consciousness about things in the real world and how you could make a difference in the life of many people simply by visiting them and listening to what they need. The three of us didn’t really have any idea what we were about to see.
We first arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal visiting the large cities structures with various degrees of damage to total collapse of buildings. We next spent an entire day by bus, going through a bumpy, dusty and muddy road to get to the small village called Khalte-9. Upon arrival it was very evident that this tiny rural community village was really destroyed by the natural disaster on April 25, 2015. All the way to this small village we had seen how this earthquake affected all of the forgotten villages because no one really seems to care, neither the authorities nor organizations about their rural inhabitants. It appears that the help and support goes to urban areas and that no one really cares about the small villages that were affected by this disaster as well. The Inti Raymi Fund always thinks about taking big risk and going to the extremely affected places in the world, as always we went to this small village to see how could we help. The needs we found were endless, but we did our best with what we had.
DISCUSSIONS WITH THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS:
Upon arrival into Khalte-9, we went around the village to see how this earthquake affected their community. It was deeply saddening and broke our hearts to see all the houses destroyed and some about to collapse. In contrast, at the same time it was rewarding because even after this devastation, the community had smiles on their faces and how it was rewarding to see how much they help each other in times of need. This is something you rarely see anymore, people suffering with their own urgent needs but they still welcome you and receive you into their homes with a big smile.
After touring the village, we asked the community of roughly 300 to gather so we could explain our sharing concept then listen to their ideas from everyone in the Khalte-9 Village. We always focus on the community, rarely deal with leaders of the community. We believe the community knows their own needs best. Additionally, we mainly focus on the ideas, which come from the women in the villages especially the elderly women who have wisdom, tenure and family there and community knowledge but are rarely listened to.
To some, our approach may appear a bit strange, but our way of share is very effective because we always listen to everyone, providing Respect & Dignity to everyone equally and allowing them to determine what is important to them. In Khalte-9, we discussed and explained why we came to their village, we explained and made it clear that the project they were about to do, is self-determined by everyone in the village.
Self Determination is contained in Article 3 & 4 of the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the “UNDRIP”). The Inti Raymi Fund has attended numerous United Nations World Conferences where Indigenous Peoples from all 200 counties around the world voice their opinion concerning their strong desire to be deeply involved in their own affairs. “Just because it’s not the Western Way of doing something, doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong way to do it”.
In addition, at the UN, they voice concern over and over again about Transparency, explaining how time and time again Foreign International Aid arrives from overseas, is managed by various local NGO’s or worse, their own national, regional and local governments, but the money rarely arrives to the communities in need. We take to heart the voices we listen to at the UN and apply in our process.
The Inti Raymi Fund never decides what we are going to do in advance for a community we visit, because it is their project not ours. These are their decisions and their gift. We are there to listen, share any ideas we may have or stories of the many ways we’ve helped in other places, then share our wealth with the community so they may better their situation in life. We are good listeners and are open to everything they may suggest.
WHAT THE KHALTE-9 COMMUNITY DECIDED THEY NEEDED MOST:
After the long day of visiting and discussing with the members all of their unlimited options, they decided unanimously to rebuild their community school because it is in great risk of collapse and injuring many of the community’s children who attend this school.
After the earthquake, many of the classrooms collapsed, or are in danger of collapse and or are severely cracking. These buildings are a ticking time-bomb, putting in danger the lives of the younger generation of Khalte-9. The community members unanimously decided this reconstruction of the school was the most urgent need of the village as a whole. Just to clarify again, the Inti Raymi Fund arrived with money and 2 questions…”What do you need”, and “How can we help you”? We did not steer the community one way or another, they all knew what they wanted and what was most important to them. This unconditional, respectful sharing approach wins the hearts of every community we visit; however, most Westerners’ cannot grasp this “letting go of control” paradigm so ingrained in traditional philanthropy! It is less important to get it right, as it is about rebuilding self-confidence and regaining Dignity & Respect for each community member. This is our belief we follow all over the world.
Their decision was their decision, so it was a good one! They decided to investment back into their village through the education of their children, betting that education will provide a brighter future for their kids. Look how rewarding it is to let go of the traditional maniacal control within the western philanthropic model.
DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED TRUSTEE:
The entire village unanimously has all the confidence and trust in a young man named Palmang. Just a side note, Chimu, our Director, personally met Palman during this season’s Mt. Everest climb and subsequent national evacuation process and was impressed with his maturity, kindness and integrity. The two of them had discussed his village during their interaction, which led to the commencement of this project in his community.
During the teams’ visit, Palman was very helpful and demonstrated himself as someone who really cares about his entire village. Our team spent over a week with Palman from Kathmandu onto this village spending all their time together. In addition to the members of the community having the confidence in Palman, the Inti Raymi Fund team gained tremendous trust and confidence during their time with Palman; however, our opinion is always secondary to the community’s opinion and their direction to elect who they trust.
At the request of the community, Palmang opened a bank account to protect the initial $25,000 contributed by Chimu and the additional $2,524, which was generously donated by several friends of Chimu. The project cannot commence immediately due to the excessive rainstorms called Monsoons, which arrive annually from the Indian Ocean. The project is slated to commence in roughly 60 days. In Nepal is very difficult to transport materials to smaller rural villages, since all rural roads are steep and narrow, 4-wheel drive dirt roads and the Monsoon rains will only exacerbates or prohibiting delivery of materials.
The $2,024, which was donated, is designated to buy necessary supplies in an immediately adjacent village next to Kaulte-9. At the suggestion of Palman and others in the community, they felt their $25,000 was a huge amount; therefore, they all agreed to share with others less fortunate nearby.
As this project progresses, the Inti Raymi Fund will update the page accordingly along with photos of the improvements.
We wish them the best!
From the Inti Raymi Fund team of Chaski, Ashley & Connor
We will continue to forward any additional donations which we receive onto Palman for their continued efforts in Khalte-9 Village. 100% of every additional outside dollar we raise, I give my word will will make it DIRECTLY into this community. Chimu
|ViralHog (Chimu’s Video Commissions 100% pass thru)||$324|
|Additional Donations to be forwarded to Village||$-|
|Total So Far||$30,024|
Prior to this expedition, Chimu contributed $3,000 USD towards several family’s reconstruction needs in other villages in addition to his $25,000 donation into this community above. This is why is shows $28,000 in total reconstruction support.
Chaski, Elder, Connor, Palman, Ashley