Dear friends and sangha members,
Since the earthquake struck Nepal with such devastating consequences two weeks ago, my heart has been filled with sadness over the thousands who have died and the hundreds of thousands who have been left left injured and without shelter.
Here at the monastery, we have all been working very hard to help those suffering to the best of our ability. I have been very pleased to see the determination and commitment to offer assistance shown by all the Rinpoches, monks, nuns and lay people in our community.
Also, from around the world the support has been overwhelming and, to date, we have received more than US$160,000 in donations for emergency relief assistance. I sincerely thank everyone who has contributed and rejoice in your great kindness and generosity. I have also been able to make a personal contribution for the relief work with a donation of US$50,000.
This is a critical time for all those affected by the earthquake. Currently, thousands of families have no homes to go to and are spending each night huddled under plastic awnings or in simple tents. Unless homes are rebuilt quickly before the monsoon rains start in a few week’s time, there is the danger of another public health emergency occurring as sanitation conditions deteriorate and diarrhoeal diseases and possibly typhoid and cholera spread. After consulting with various experts, it is clear that one of the best ways for us to assist in a lasting way is to help people rebuild their homes.
Building houses in the rain is extremely difficult since the mud mortar used to build walls gets washed away. This can be avoided through good quality roofing materials to keep walls and floor areas dry during construction. I am therefore pleased to announce that, henceforth, the relief efforts of the monastery will focus on supplying corrugated roofing sheets, tools, hardware and simple drawings of earthquake resistant homes to villages devastated in the earthquake. Where a family is too poor to reconstruct their home, we will coordinate with village officials and provide additional funds to allow them to hire labour.
Of the total funds raised to date, US$20,000 has already been used to purchase and deliver tents, food and medical supplies in the days immediately following the earthquake. The remaining US$190,000 will now be spent on providing at least 1,000 families with roofing and other materials in the worst affected areas.
These efforts begun yesterday with our monks ordering the first batch of high quality roofing sheets from India and will continue in the weeks ahead until our goal is reached with all donations spent in accordance with the wishes of the sponsors. This work will be coordinated by the monks at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in partnership with our social outreach organisation Shenpen Nepal and be overseen by experts in development and disaster relief.
Please be sure to visit www.shedrubfund.org for regular updates on this project.
Let me once again thank everyone who has contributed to these efforts from the bottom of my heart. Your generosity is greatly needed and so warmly appreciated.
With love and blessings,
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche