We have taken the lead through Maxby Chan, to form this initiative between Malaysian and Nepali Photographers to Adopt a Village to help Nepal Earthquake recovery process. We have identified Laprak as the village that we are going to adopt.
Laprak is a Gurung village, along with Barpak. It was at the epicentre of the 25th April earthquake that devastated Nepal. With 611 households in the village, the entire village has been devastated and the villagers now have migrated to safer grounds and dispersed into five new locations plus some in the village itself (mostly elderly who refuse to move to other places). While Laprak is at an altitude of 2100m, the currently highest migration settlement is unto 2700 meters at Mamchi.
Due to the sheer remoteness of the village and lack of vehicle access at present, official government relief or international community had not yet reached his village. Suman Gurung (a professional mountain trekking guide) along with his team were the first to provide relief materials to his suffering villagers with limited funds provided by friends and family, in Nepal and abroad.
We are adopting this village to offer whatever assistance that we can. All donations collected are not going to be given to any International Aid Group. Instead we are going to be in Nepal ourselves to make sure our hard-earned money is given directly to the people who needs help.
These type of recovery project takes weeks, months if not years to see the end result. This is unlike the “search and rescue” projects that have a time limit.
I have broken the project down into 2 phases:-
1. Reconnaissance – a trip to establish what is really needed like building a school, medical clinic and houses and to what extend.. I am going to to Nepal and Laprak to assess the situation in June. I will also establish the channels on how the aid is dispatched to the people. I also need to establish a system when and how volunteers can go there. Their housing, food, transport and other needs. What I have collected initially, a small portion will be used to buy the immediate and urgent supplies like medicine and food.
2. Adopting the village – After the reconnaissance, we will then go for another round of sourcing for funds for a specific project like for building a school for example and work out what is required and the budget. Then volunteers who would like to go there periodically to help out in the physical work including Architects, Engineers, or anyone who would like to put their expertise to work will also able to contribute. In other words, I will be establishing a platform for volunteers to work properly.
It is going to be an uphill job trying to rebuild a 620 households village. Luckily, we are not short of well-wishers like you from all over the world who are chipping in to help out.
We are organising a self-help group. All monies collected will be used to buy materials, food, medicine, etc. for the residents of this village. Some of the money will be used for ground support for volunteers like transportation, accommodation, food, etc. If you are interested in helping this project and want to be involved in any way from volunteering your time, expertise or donations please do contact us at our Facebook Group
All the photos were taken by Suman Gurung, a resident of this village.