Jo Carroll, intrepid lone traveller, is doing something amazing and she’s here to tell you about it.
I spent much of September in Nepal. It was humbling, being with friends who are working so hard to rebuild their country after the earthquake. Yet, in the middle of the dust and the rubble, they still found the energy to make me welcome.
I’ve come home determined to do something to help. But the need is overwhelming. It would be easy to retreat into helplessness in the face of such devastation. There’s a small tent city in Kathmandu – all those families who need somewhere safe and dry to live. And I’ve seen similar pockets of destruction in the towns and village.
There are international charities working hard in Kathmandu, and in rural areas where the damage is most severe. But the small villages, where one or two homes are crumbling, are dependent on small NGOs or tiny charities for any help.
My friends, though many now live in Pokhara or Kathmandu, come from a village in the foothills of the mountains. We trekked there one day and I saw the conditions in which one family is living. The top storey of this house has collapsed. They – three adults (a couple and his mother) and two small children live as best they can in what is left of the ground floor. Each time the monsoon rains there is the risk that the remains of this building will collapse completely. But what choice do they have?
And so I have agreed to pay for this man to rebuild his house. The cost – just £1500. I shall pay the money through a small charity that supports the health centre and school in this village, and is appealing for funds to help repair all the damaged homes. A friend is one of the men commissioned to distribute all contributions, and I trust him completely. There is no risk that my money will line his pockets.
The need is enormous. There is so much we can’t do. But we can rebuild one house – give them somewhere to sleep and eat, and for the children to play – without fearing that everything will come crashing around them.
For those who would like to help me, here is the link to my appeal: https://www.gofundme.com/ny6mbny4.
And that’s not all. Jo is also writing a book about her latest experiences in Nepal, and is donating all the proceeds to the house-build. Having read her previous books, like this one, I know it’s going to be good. I’ll keep you posted on that.