Salesians in Solidarity with the people of Nepal

Salesians_Nepal_01It is a terrible scenario that is presented in the capital Kathmandu and also in some neighbouring villages, where about 70% of homes were completely destroyed. This was the strongest earthquake in 80 years in the region. There have been victims also in some areas of India, China, Bangladesh and Tibet. In this context the Salesians on site will endeavour to bring emergency relief and several Salesian Mission Offices have already launched campaigns of solidarity.

Fear and chaos dominate in the areas most affected by the earthquake. Aftershocks have caused hospitals to collapse and have led many people to sleep outdoors. “The people continue to feel aftershocks and they are afraid,” says Fr Jacob Punneli, SDB, a missionary in the Kathmandu Valley.

The Salesians are in several places in Nepal, but the damage is mostly in Kathmandu Valley. The Salesians, the staff and some alumni have been helping the villages in their neighbourhood. There has been no loss of life (among the Salesians), apparently, but all the houses are razed to the ground. They are at present active in four villages with some 400 families. They are distributing food, some medicines and some material that could be used to make a temporary shelter (plastic or polythene sheets, etc.)

At the moment they are spending about INR 2 lakh a day (the equivalent of about 3,000 Euro). There is a good grocery store in the area and it seems to have supplies that may last another few days. After that we will have to see whether we will have to bring in stuff from India.

They have been able to spend this much the last two days. As they reach the nearest villages, and they see that we have the capacity to help, requests are coming from the farther villages. They will let us know when they are extending help beyond the four villages where they are right now. If the outreach grows, and the need grows, they will have to spend even more money.

Salesians_Nepal_02“We need food, blankets, medicines, tents, warm clothes… Many people have lost everything. The rain further complicates the search for survivors and relief efforts,” say the Salesians, who open their houses, which fortunately have been only slightly damaged, to help the population.

Several Salesian Mission Offices got to work immediately to help in the relief effort. Anyone wishing to contribute can visit the websites of Missioni Don BoscoMisiones Salesianas and the site of the Salesians of Australia, with links to direct donation to the Salesians in Nepal. The fundraising now is for immediate needs and to save lives. The need for rebuilding houses, etc., can be looked at once the emergency situation has passed.

Salesian Mission Office in Ireland

If you would like to help and make a donation for Nepal please forward your cheque or postal order with description “FOR NEPAL” to:

Fr Dan Devitt SDB
Salesian Missions,
P.O. Box 50,
Co. Limerick

First Published by InfoANS 28/04/2015