Dear READ Supporter,
As we approach the one-year anniversary of the devastating Nepal earthquakes, I’ve been reflecting on the incredible progress we’ve made since then and wanted to thank you for your enduring support – you’ve helped READ restore the hope and resilience of the people of Nepal.
With the One Year Update below, I want to share what we’ve learned since the quakes first hit and how our model has responded to the most pressing needs of our communities. I am also providing a roadmap for the steps that lie ahead for our communities and how you can help turn our vision for reconstruction into a reality.
Since two massive earthquakes hit Nepal on April 25th and May 12th last year, the many rural communities we work in have suffered tremendously. Thousands of people lost their homes and their livelihoods, and the political turmoil and fuel shortage that began last September made rebuilding nearly impossible.
Despite the challenges that remain, it has been awe-inspiring to witness the strength of our network of 62 READ Centers in Nepal as they have supported each other through this difficult period. The resilience we have seen confirms that empowering communities to manage their own crises rather than waiting for external aid is truly the best way forward. This has been READ’s approach since we began our work in Nepal in 1991 and we are more committed than ever to this sustainable approach to community development.
Every day that a READ Center is not open to the public is a day children cannot spend time reading, youth cannot access the Internet and women cannot gather to empower themselves in safe spaces. We need you to join our rebuilding efforts today. Only together can we ensure brighter futures for the women, children and families of Nepal.
READ Global Executive Director
Six of READ’s 62 centers in Nepal need to be rebuilt having suffered serious damage in last year’s earthquakes. We need your help so that rural villagers who suffered huge losses can access the necessary resources to put their lives back on track.
Three communities in Sindhupalchowk and Gorkha — the districts hardest-hit by the quakes — are in dire need of community infrastructure and resources to support villagers as they rebuild their lives. Thus, in addition to rebuilding the six damaged READ Centers, we have committed to building three new centers to support community members.
Some of the damaged centers were built many years ago, such as the Junbesi Center, which was the first READ Center established in 1991. As READ rebuilds older centers, we will do so in a manner that is earthquake resilient and consistent with modern standards, including installation of computers, Internet access and solar panels to ensure consistent power.
What We've Learned
Within hours of the first quake, we saw that READ’s network of centers proved to be an ideal platform for immediate disaster relief. Centers served as the trusted, go-to resource that could meet the needs of their communities. More than 1,000 volunteers were mobilized through the centers and, along with the READ Nepal team, provided disaster relief to more than 50,000 people in the months after the quakes.
Because communities already depend on their READ Centers, they were willing to volunteer their time to construct temporary structures so that educational programs could continue even if the center had been damaged.
Additionally, people with disabilities are often overlooked during disaster relief efforts and thus are at higher risk of injury or death, so READ is also introducing Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR) training into its core programming. This has been made possible by an exciting new partnership with ASB, a relief organization based in Germany.
How You Can Help
READ has raised the necessary funds to rebuild the Kumari and Charikot Centers and has funding committed for the 3 new centers in Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk. We need your help to rebuild the 4 centers in Junbesi, Tukche, Birgha and Bardibas.
Take a look at some examples of how your support can make a difference:
• $250: Fill a bookcase with books
• $500: Purchase reading tables and chairs for a library section
• $1,000: Stock a children’s section with art supplies, books and games
• $2,500: Create a women’s section - a safe place for women to learn and thrive
• $5,000: Provide an entire community with Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction programs
• $10,000: Establish a new sustaining enterprise to fund the long-term operating costs of a center
• $15,000: Fully equip a computer section and install solar panels on a center to provide consistent power
Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can rebuild Nepal!