A university charity society has this week raised an astonishing £20,000 in relief funds for victims of the Nepal earthquake.
Oxford and Cambridge University HELP, part of the Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership, raised the money in just six days following the earthquake that wreaked destruction across large parts of Nepal.
The Helambu region was itself badly affected largely due to its mountainous terrain and close proximity to aftershock sites. Thousands in the region have been left homeless and injured, with villages unable to access crucial food and medical resources due to the collapsed road network.
Students from Oxford and Cambridge have previously volunteered as teachers in the Helambu region as part of the HELP NGO. Funds originally directed towards education have since been diverted towards the earthquake disaster relief after the students launched an emergency relief appeal via JustGiving.
The appeal had raised £1,000 after just an hour of going live and £11,000 within 48 hours. Current vice-president of CU HELP, Megan Blade said of the appeal’s success: “This is a testament to just how much these communities mean to us; we wanted to give back to the incredible people with whom we forged such strong friendships.”
Few of the buildings in Helambu remain intact, while death tolls are high. However, a large number of the schools built during the past 6 years by HELP remained intact.
HELP’s relief efforts have involved rescuing the injured from devastated villages and supplying crucial resources, including solar panels, mobile phones and tarpaulins.
Imogen Buxton, a third-year from Murray Edwards College who has volunteered in Helambu during the past two summers said: “We have faith in our appeal because HELP have been working in Helambu for years to improve education and village facilities.”
“HELP know the region intimately and aren’t going to up sticks and leave in a few months after the original crisis. The Nepali team will work for as long as it takes to restore Helambu, and then they will resume their normal efforts to develop educational provision and people’s livelihoods.”
The Cambridge Student would like to congratulate CU HELP on their outstanding efforts to help the people of Nepal. You can donate to their cause at https://www.justgiving.com/helambu-appeal.
Donations by text are also possible. Just send CUHN 50 plus the amount you would like to donate to 70070.