Its been one year since the April 2015 earthquake hit Nepal. One year since we started our group. One year since a small group of travellers committed to helping Nepal and came together to found Secret Garden Disaster Relief.
Seeing people who had lost everything, fathers and mothers with children sitting on the street with nothing left, people crying for the family they had lost and the house that no longer stood, we knew we should help, and quickly found that with your support, we could! We asked you help us fundraise $1000. after reaching this in a matter of days we decided we could go on and try for $5000. At that point this seemed crazy … but, you made it happen, you smashed through that target, continuing to donate, share our posts, follow our blog, raise awareness, and continue support us. We received an incredible amount of funding that we never thought possible.
You gave and gave and together we grew and grew!
Volunteers came from around the world and worked tirelessly day and night planning and organising the huge amount of work that needed to be done, coordinating and leading groups to carry out the missions ahead, and personally building in villages for months and months, through Summer heat, monsoon rains and winter cold. You gave us the funds to buy people medicines, food, clean water, blankets and temporary shelter in those first weeks. The Secret Garden Disaster Relief team went to villages to build emergency shelters, tool libraries, schools and even a whole village for 40 families previously living on a land slide. Within this time we have been lucky enough grow and learn together, meeting life long friends whilst continuing to make links with other groups here in Nepal, helping each other to achieve great things.
After one year we have seen many changes, the team constantly shifting and rearranging, our methods of working adapting and evolving… and some patches where we worries that we might not have the capacity to keep going. Things are different now from 6 months ago, for sure. No more crazy build missions, no more huge teams of volunteers riding trucks into the mountains with wrecking bars and smiles. But even though its different, its not to say that we are not still here.
A few of the original Secret Garden Disaster Relief team are still in Nepal, and all are working in various different ways, combining our efforts with other groups and initiatives to support Nepal.
Chris and Tori are still committed to working with Conscious Impact, helping with their build in Takure. Beth and Dipu are back, and together with our old volunteer Taisha, are continuing to support Rajkumar Lama and Bhummlu Salle, one of the first villages we ever worked in, through distribution of solar lights, and small scale agriculture and micro-finance initiatives. Harry is working with Marli and Bhuwan from NfN on a social art and storytelling project, trying to raise awareness of solutions, whilst supporting the fantastic work that NfN are doing. And last but not least, Bud is working closely with Nasreen from Local Woman’s Handicrafts and LocWom, trying to support women from fragile situations through training and work.
One year after the earthquake, SGDR has been through many shifts and changes. its been a real journey. Right now the dust has settled, and we are using our abilities slowly, gently, and receptively, to try to continue to help. We want you to know that you can still help too. We’ve come this far together, and we couldn’t have done it without you.