Let’s talk about NEPAL!

Since the day we started our grassroots team mission up to today you have all helped us to raise a monumental $47,000.

Your contribution has provided temporary food and shelter to approximately 1200+ families. Medical treatment to 300+ earthquake victims and those suffering from general sickness. 2 helicopter evacuations (victims and the family are still under our care). One of the victim is Dinesh (11 years old) who has lost his sight on his left eye. He will be going through an operation in a month hoping to get at least 20% eye sight back. We will be taking care of his school expenses indefinitely.

On the ground – under the lead of Ang, we have continued our mission helping earthquake victims. When Satish and I left the country the team focused on helping to rebuild and re-establish schools, leaving search & rescue, food and shelter a second priority. Now Ang is walking on US soil leading an expedition to Mount Denali.

At the moment, our team in country are currently evaluating those most in need and co-ordinating with other grassroots organisations providing relief and aid to affected and isolated communities. This will evolve in the coming weeks and months to include projects for regeneration, support, rebuilding & education. John, Tashi, Sudan, Mingma and Sanjay are working hard behind the scenes, completing the current missions and taking on new ones too.

In last three weeks we have built a temporary school in Nuwakot. We have donated school stationary, student’s books and supplies in Bagbachhala Primary School, Krishnavhir, Dhusa-1, Dhading, Haibung School in Sindhupalchowk in collaboration with Tashi and friends. We are now working on supplying same items to 5 different schools in Bhotang in collaboration with Boby Lama. We have also committed to build a health post and permanent schools in Bhotang and Bhotenamlang in Sindhupalchowk.

It is accepted by the Nepal Government and the international community that the extent of damage and the impact of the earthquakes were unprecedented and that existing Disaster Management Plans were not equipped to cope with the scale of human, logistical and infrastructure impact.

It became apparent to me, and our friends and colleagues that the absence of any existing coordinated national search and rescue and emergency first response provision contributed to the delay in logistical, communication and distribution plans for immediate aid to the most remote and cut-off areas and people. It also meant that there was a general impact on the organisation and flow of aid into and throughout the country.

Our team consisted of outdoor experts who were highly trained in river skills, technical rope work, search and rescue & wilderness first responders. However, we were limited to how much we could do. We were simply operating underground. We lost a few expert volunteers because we were not an established organisation.

Wouldn’t it been more effective if all the experts had one headquarter?
Wouldn’t it be a great to have this team available in emergencies 24/7?
Would it be great to know where exactly to call in case you need rescue?
Wouldn’t it be great to have a central place where we share the knowledge?
Wouldn’t it be great to know where exactly to go to volunteer your help with such skills?
Wouldn’t it be great to know that the team who are coming to rescue you actually
know what exactly they are doing?

This grassroots team who had been drawn together in response to the urgent need, came to the conclusion through our experiences working on the ground during the relief missions, the combination of our skills as industry leaders in outdoor adventure sports and hazardous activities made us the best placed, most experienced and suitably qualified to act as first responders to emergency situations in Nepal. What was needed was an organised, well-resourced and qualified national first response team. We will come together to create HIMALAYAN SAFETY ORGANISATION.

Himalayan Safety Organisation – WHAT’S HAPPENING?
We had our first official 3 days intense meeting. 2 Irish team members flew all the way from Ireland to Iceland (Don’t worry we didn’t use any penny from your donation, this was contribution from team Ireland to kick start the project. And it was cheap to feed them DALBHAT (Nepali meal) in my house.

The Earthquake that hit Nepal on 25th April and 12th May didn’t only take life of the earthquake victims but also volunteers. One of them was our late friend and a hero Captain Subek Sherestha. He made one of the helicopter rescues, with the risk of losing his job, to help save lives. He saved some 400+ lives but not his own. After Subek rescued our patient, later he told us that he has not met any professional team like us in all the rescues mission he flew since the day #1. Then I pitched him the HSO idea that had been on back of my mind for few years. And it took him no time to say “let’s do it, this has to happen. I can help training and I will fly for HSO the day HSO will have its own rescue helicopter.” This beautiful hearted man is no longer among us but his dream for HSO will continue in us. I know it’s a huge dream that we want to turn into a reality. BUT HEY, your donation, support, share and care saved 1000’s of life and brought us all here. I am sure TOGETHER we can go even further, where our dream lies. A dream for a safer Nepal.

Thank you for being there with us. We will be there when you need us.

Peace & Love

Anup Gurung