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Dear Friend
 
I have just returned from the searing heat, stifling humidity and torrential rains of Nepal in monsoon season. I must admit at times I was pretty miserable but at least I had a roof over my head – well most of the time! Unlike all the children and families who are still living in tents and temporary shelters, battling to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the quake.
 
I met one elderly lady whose home had been severely damaged and is now living with her daughter and two young grandchildren in a temporary shelter. The shelter is extremely basic (I can’t imagine how it will survive in the monsoon), yet it cost 30% more than the government grant families are getting to rebuild. She is one of the luckier ones and was only able to build because her son, who works in Kathmandu, was able to send her the extra money she needed. However, money remains a problem, as well as losing her home, her meagre livelihood was destroyed - all her livestock were killed in the quake and she cannot afford to replace them. The suffering is not just physical, her 3yo grandson has been so traumatised by the impact of the EQ, that he has constant nightmares and won’t leave his mother’s side.
This family is just one example of the many whom I am sure have similar if not worse stories to tell. Progress is being made but it is slow and there is a very long way to go. The recovery is being hampered not only by lack of money but also by torrential rains, road closures and landslides. And the lack of money isn’t helped by the death of Nepal’s tourism industry. The dearth of tourists really hit me. Pokhara is a prime tourist destination and was not directly impacted by the quake but the hotels, bars and restaurants were deserted.  I can’t tell you how weird it feels being the only person in a guesthouse or restaurant night after night! No tourists means no work for the thousands of people employed in this industry nor for the many who have come to Pokhara looking for jobs so that they can rebuild their lives. I hope that people will realise Nepal remains one of the most beautiful countries in the world and one that everyone who can afford to should visit, and soon! Otherwise, the economic impact will be catastrophic, driving more children and families into high risk crisis situations and making Kidasha’s work even harder.

We have been doing a number of things to help with the recovery, thanks to our earthquake appeal, which I am delighted to say has now passed our initial target of £100,000. Most notably, we have launched a new project in Dhading, one of the districts most impacted by the quake, aimed at helping some of the very poorest families remain together in their home communities and avoid the inherent risks of migrating to the city. Please click here for more information about this and the other things we have been doing. We will send further updates on how our work progresses, so that those of you who have generously supported our appeal know how your money is being spent and the difference it is making.
 
Thank you so much for all your support
Kidasha Earthquake Update
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