Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all. I trust that you have all had the opportunity to catch up with family and friends over the festive season. I know that some of you have been impacted by the bush fires along the surf coast and I hope that you all remain safe and that things return to normal as soon as possible.
Our dear friend, Tika Tamang, arrived in Melbourne recently and I’ve had the opportunity to chat with him about the events over the past 8-9 months that have impacted on his family in Nepal. Tika and his family have been busy building more secure and permanent shelter for themselves and have been greatly assisted with funds from our account to purchase proper building supplies and hire workers. There have been issues sourcing some materials as India has closed some borders temporarily and roads into the country areas are still difficult to travel. The government in Nepal has recently released a rebuilding policy and guidelines for those wanting to construct houses during the rebuild process. This means better material, designs and safety in mind. That has naturally pushed up prices for material and increased construction costs for housing.
You will be pleased to know that we have been able to assist with funds to enable the Tamang and extended family to continue with their rebuilding works. The below images show a complete home rebuilt with a $3000 contribution from our Nepal Community Fund. The property that formerly existed on this land was being rented by Tika’s brother – Dil Tamang – and his family. Their rented home was completely levelled by the April 2015 earthquake – leaving their family of 4 homeless. The land was then donated by the owners to Dil and his family for the next 10 years but they would need to build their home. This particular property is not intended to be their permanent home, but it is now a fully functioning (and safe) house only made possible by the generous donations of everyone who has been contributing to our Nepal Community Fund.
We have also been able to assist with education support for Tika’s children, Pemba and Doma. They attend school from 6am – 6pm, 6 days a week, and Tika says their English is now better than his. Some of the other Tamang children also have sponsors from Japan and Canada so we are not alone in being touched by these wonderful people.
There has been scrutiny recently around the conduct of charities and the amount of funds returned to the actual benefit of those in need. I would like to re-iterate here that 100% of funds in our Nepal Community Fund is returned direct to our extended family via Tika. All funds are accounted for and there is no administration or operating costs involved at all.
Tika is here for 3 months and leaves late in March. He will be down Apollo Bay way for most of this time being looked after by Cate Thomas and her community there. I hope to have a day set aside to run a b-b-que in Melbourne so that anyone wishing to catch up with Tika can have the opportunity to do so. As soon as I can organise a date, I will let you know.
So thank you for your continued support. It is making a real difference to the day to day lives of our friends in Nepal. Here is hoping 2016 will be full of more prosperous times for us all.
The image below show the new works underway to totally rebuild Tika’s parents home in the remote Nepalese village of Ramechhap.