HDR Nepal drive wrap-up


Foundation Beyond Belief’s Humanist Disaster Recovery Drive (HDR Drive) benefitting Nepal wrapped up collecting donations last week. On April 25th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the small nation of Nepal. The earthquake caused an avalanche on Mt. Everest, mudslides, and numerous strong aftershocks. This initial earthquake was followed by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on May 12th, which caused further damage and complicated the response process as many response workers were injured or killed by the second quake. In total, an estimated 8,000 people were killed with almost 18,000 injured.10408031_1155995347747797_1459877334477784425_nThe HDR Drive continued for a month and raised over $45,000 in that time. Our primary beneficiary, receiving just over $40,000, is Women’s Foundation of Nepal. They are an organization local to Nepal who, in non-disaster times, provide assistance to women and children who are survivors of abuse and poverty by providing shelter, education, job training, and other services. We chose this organization in large part because of their unique ability to address issues that specifically address women post-disaster. Despite their organization facing physical damage from the earthquake, they immediately sprang into action providing food, shelter, and supplies to communities all over Nepal, including remote villages only accessible by helicopter. They also implemented programs specifically for women and children at their shelters. Most notably they started a project to provide shelter and services for pregnant women and newborns. Post-earthquake life is not a safe environment for this population given issues such as the high number of aftershocks, lack of food, water, and supplies. To date, nine babies have been born and twenty-two more are on their way! Women’s Foundation of Nepal posts daily updates with photos of the work they are accomplishing on their facebook page.

The final $5000 was donated to Society of Humanism Nepal (SOCH). They are the only humanist group active in Nepal and quickly exemplified Humanist values as they implemented a relief program to help their surrounding community. SOCH was able to provide shelter to 300 families in the Kavrepalanchowk, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk districts of Nepal and distributed food in Gorkha.  

The goal of this HDR Drive was to donate to local organizations rather than large international aid organizations, which can face inefficiencies in the aftermath of such large disasters. The local community is by far best suited to guide their own recovery, as they know what their community needs most. A primary objective of HDR Drive is to empower capable local organizations and survivors throughout their community’s recovery process. Following the success of this HDR Drive we will continue to use this model moving forward.

As always, we thank you for your generous support.

Follow Humanist Disaster Recovery Network on Facebook for updates on future HDR Drives and information on volunteering with HDR Teams.  

Photo credit: Women’s Foundation of Nepal