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Nepalese Wilson students set up fundraiser to aid home country

Written by Becky Metrick, Public Opinion Online | Apr 28, 2015 3:30 PM
Rural Nepal 600x340.jpg

(Chambersburg) -- Three Nepalese Wilson College students have joined together to raise money through a gofundme page to help those suffering after the devastating, 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal on Saturday.

Neena Gurung, Jyotsna Dhakal and Kisha Pradhan are international students at Wilson College who have watched their country's tragedy from afar.

"We were just talking about the earthquake that happened back home," Pradhan said in an interview Monday. "Our families were there and they were suffering, too."

While both of their families are in "better situations" than most, both girls said they have struggled to contact their family members still in Nepal. Facebook and an occasional phone call have been their only means of communication.

Gurung and Pradhan decided that despite gofundme being a "mainstream" way to raise money, they wanted to focus their fundraising to the Chambersburg area in hopes they could get more help.

Right now, the group has put together a list of organizations that they are considering contributing to once they have a better understanding of how much they have raised.

They have decided to send part of their funds to the relief efforts of Umesh Pradhan, a Nepali government medical officer in Kathmandu.

"He is a doctor on the ground in a small community," Gurung said. "We decided to give, as of now, $1,000 from our account to his efforts."

The students said that should they find others they believe will help their money "go the furthest," they would also donate specific funds to those people. They are still researching where they would like the money to go, but are hoping to fund mostly smaller communities.

The doctor they have already chosen is working in one of their friend's hometowns, and they have been able to receive trustworthy information about what he is doing, they said.

Pradhan said that in her home town, many of the temples around the area are now gone, destroyed by the quake.

Gurung said that both of them grew up around Kathmandu, where damage has been heavily documented. However, because of the media attention the city is getting, they don't want to focus their money solely on that area.

"We are looking at rural areas. Media haven't reached the rural areas yet," Pradhan said. "A lot of help is require in those places."

The girls have raised around $2000 in the first two days of the campaign, and hope to raise around $5000 by the end of it. They do not have a set time period for the fundraiser, but they are hoping to collect as much money as possible in a short time period in order to provide immediate help.

"We just hope people will pray for us, pray for our families and all of the Nepaliese there," Gurung said. "We just want to tell them, every single penny would count."

Gurung explained that $1 is the equivalent of approximately 100 rupees, their standard note of currency.

"It's been really difficult, this way at least we're trying to do something for our people," Gurung said.

Anyone looking to donate can go to the page at www.gofundme.com/9mm6t0 or search "Help Nepal" from the main site.

Staff writer Becky Metrick can be reached at (717) 262-4762.


This article comes to us through a partnership between Public Opinion Online and WITF. 

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