The two earthquakes in Nepal on April 25 and May 12, 2015 have resulted in destruction or damage to over 750,000 homes, leaving millions of people homeless. Many are sleeping under tents made of tarps and sticks. Along with this over 25,000 classrooms have been destroyed, and with the disruption of housing and the general fear of entering buildings made of block, many children are left without shelter all day and all night. People are also gripped with an overwhelming fear and stress resulting from the death and devastation that they have witnessed and that is exacerbated by the aftershocks that hit several times a day.
ReachGlobal and OC International are responding together to this crisis by partnering with local churches to reach out to communities to holistically minister to the needs of the people. Since just after the earthquake hit, our local church partners have been serving their communities by providing relief supplies, offering their churches and surrounding properties for people to take shelter and serving meals.
The five-fold plan to aid in the recovery
A five-fold strategy for recovery and lasting transformational Gospel impact in Nepal has been developed. Efforts will always be through the local church, as it is a natural and geographically distributed way of bringing both aid and spiritual impact to communities.
1. Trauma mitigation/debriefing
Goal: Trauma Mitigation in 100 locations.
By first caring for the caregivers, church leaders and members, debriefing together enables them to work through their trauma, and equips them to help their non-Christian neighbors as well. It opens the door of the heart for spiritual impact. This is especially significant for children.
2. Transitional shelters
Goal: 1,000+ families living in a sustainable transitional shelter.
With so many living under tarps, the monsoons and then winter, there is need for more durable temporary shelter. We have begun purchasing materials for delivery to needy families in targeted villages. Supports and walls come from locally available materials, and labor for building is done by those who will live in the shelter with help from the local church members when possible.
3. Community centers
Goal: 12 locations serving as Community Centers
Hundreds of local churches have been damaged, destroyed or simply lack the physical space to effectively serve the community. Short-term (bamboo/tin) structures can serve as community shelters for those who have not yet received adequate housing for the monsoon season, as a school and children's activity center and as a church gathering space. Even while people are coming in to the community center/church, the body will be going out into the community to bring help, love and care to those that God has asked them to serve.
4. Community and livelihood development
Longer term, we see opportunities to incorporate the recovery efforts to help in launching community and livelihood development opportunities to strengthen the church's central role in the communities. These opportunities will be developed in future discussions with church and community leaders.
5. Trafficking Mitigation
Crisis brings with it an increased pressure for human trafficking and risk to women and children due to economic instability, broken family and community structures, improper housing, and unresolved emotional trauma. Crisis response must encompass anti-trafficking work. The response activities described above, in partnership with local churches reaching out to their surrounding communities, holistically ministering to the needs of the people and community development work decreases vulnerability to the tricks of the trafficers. In addition, Child Friendly Spaces are being developed in the community centers, and these will facilitate anti-trafficking awareness.
In each site, we will have a strong relationship with a key pastor who can lead the church to help the whole community, and have already begun recovery efforts.
We are initially targeting the following four locations:
How can you be involved?
- The many believers who have lost loved ones and are now homeless, but also for the MANY unsaved neighbors and communities served by our local church partners.
- Strength and vision for the church leaders who are tired from running hard since the earthquake.
- Continued generous outpouring of resources from God's store house.
- Peace to overcome fear.
- Response of God's people to stand alongside the impacted church in Nepal.
Helping pastors and churches impacted by the earthquake begin the recovery process, while helping them reach out to the communities they serve is what we have been called to do. Specific needs include:
- $500 starts a Trauma Mitigation Ministry in one location, supplying basic materials and travel.
- $7,500 provides a complete Community Center
- $3,100 builds a Transitional Community Center/Church Facility.
- $2,000 provides a stipend for a Children's Ministry worker team for one year.
- $2,400 provides a year's worth of Community Center Ministry Materials.
- $500 invested in kids by supplying children’s ministry materials and workers for one month of kids/trafficking prevention ministry.
- $320 will send out four response ministry interns to serve the community and help with debris clean up for those unable to do this on their own for one month.
- $15,000 provides for a Community or Livelihood Development project in one location.
- $125 provides materials for a family's basic transitional shelter (not a tarp or tent) to withstand the monsoons.
- Any amount will help with ongoing earthquake outreach ministry.
To pay by check: Check payable to EFCA, and Nepal EQ in memo line. The check can be mailed to:
EFCA Donor Services, 901 E. 78th St., Minneapolis, MN 55420
Please do not send gifts in kind such as clothing, pallet loads of supplies or other bulk donations.
For up to date information, please go see the ReachGlobal blog.