From certain chaos to potential doom…

Written by Declan on December 10th, 2015 Categories: General, Latest, Our Work, Poverty | no comments so far. write your own »

You’d be forgiven for knowing little or nothing about what’s been going on in Nepal over the last few months. Not least because of my own continued inability to keep this here website even nearly as up-to-date as it deserves and in deed needs to be (Cringe!) but also because, unless there’s a deadly earthquake to sensationalise or a quirky government-sponsored goat slaughter or similar to fill the “and finally…” news slot, poor ol’ Nepal never commands a great deal of the global media’s increasingly limited attention.

Earthquake devastation aside, it’s the political chaos, ineptitude and criminal inaction which has unfolded since that sees Nepal now in the grips of a humanitarian crisis the outside world most probably knows very little about. What started with violent protests (against the introduction of a knowingly divisive constitution some months back) disrupting the regular supply of goods across the Indian border, has continued to spiral out of control with the powers-that-be doing very little by way of constructive intervention and the black-market economy fast becoming the accepted norm.

Political intricacies and confusion aside, the current situation remains that with ‘normal’ supply channels from India being severely disrupted for months now, a slowly-growing array of daily essentials (including petrol, diesel, cooking gas and, perhaps most worryingly, medical supplies) are only available to those who can afford the extortionate prices demanded by those who somehow or another have managed to maintain a readily available supply.

Needless to say, the long-suffering Nepali citizens continue to struggle on, as best they know how, getting by on what little they have. Times are tougher than they’ve ever been before though and I find myself wondering if the resilient nature of Nepali people, which I’ve admired for years, isn’t actually one of their greatest weaknesses… One being cruelly exploited by those who have the power to create change but choose not to… Ke garne? Nepal este ho…

While it’s definitely a whole lot more uncertain than it’s ever been in the almost 12 years that I’ve lived here, I can’t actually say that it’s hugely different. The children and families we work with remain vulnerable and as in need of a caring and supportive hand as they’ve ever been. We’re incredibly fortunate at just-one to enjoy the continued support of a small but incredibly generous army of fans from all over the world who kindly empower us to do what we do.

From the hundreds of school students who were inspired by our visitors on this autumn’s Etihad-sponsored fundraising trip to Ireland, to individuals like Thomas Fitzgibbon who ran the Everest Marathon kindly raising over €7,000 and the 14 fundraising trekkers from Ireland who visited Poon Hill recently and contributed almost €35,000 between them are just some of the endeavours that have allowed us to continue reaching out to some of those most in need and help them get their lives back on track.

***Post-Script***

As I wrote that last paragraph just there and wondered how I’d wrap the post up ready to be published, I saw notification of a message received by our facebook page and went to take a look… I’m still shell-shocked by what I read but feel I must share it with you here too… It was from the daughter of one of the aforementioned Poon Hill trekkers to share the terribly sad news that her father, James Fitzgerald, died yesterday following a tragic accident at his home. It’s difficult to comprehend that the gentleman pictured to the fore of the photo below is no longer with us… :o(

RIP

James Fitzgerald, Nov 12, the morning we reached Poon Hill.

In sharing our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt condolences with his family, I’d also like to remind them that the legacy of his incredibly generous and valuable contribution to our work (well over €1,000 more than the €1,500 minimum each participant had to raise) will live on in the bright and happy smiles of the children who are already benefiting from the support he kindly empowered us to provide for them and their families. May he rest in peace.

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