Boudhanath, Kathmandu, Nepal.  Image from 2012.

Boudhanath, Kathmandu, Nepal. Image from 2012.

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius

On April 25th, a  7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal.  The epicenter of the earthquake was located at the heart of Project for a Village, in the Lamjung Valley.  The infrastructure of the country, and the infrastructure of the villages in the Valley (including Rupakot) cannot sustain an earthquake of that magnitude.  We do not know how many years or the amount of resources it will take to rebuild the village, but we do know that the extent of the damage is unfathomable to those of us watching from a distance.

It is sometimes easy for us to remove ourselves from tragedies outside of our immediate lives.  News coverage the night of the quake, less than 12 hours after the devastation hit, was centered around celebrities on red carpets.  We are torn between our compassionate hearts eager for a window into the lives of those affected by tragedgy, and our selfish minds hungry for a distraction.

As we flipped through the channels on our TV, trying to find coverage of the aftermath, we found the regularly scheduled programming, with a ticker on the bottom of the screen keeping tally of the lives lost.  A footnote in our otherwise normal day.

We scanned through photos of Nepal and didn’t recognize the country we love so dearly.  We saw pictures of Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, the centuries-old bustling tourist area and UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was reduced to dust.  We saw images of Mt. Everest’s Base Camp with the colorful tents and bright prayer flags covered in a blanket of snow from the deadly avalanche ignited by the quake.  We saw mountainsides destroyed by mudslides with homes only regonizable by the small pile of rubble they left behind.

But we have yet to see photos of our village, Rupakot.  We have not heard from any of our friends who live right where the epicenter of the earthquake was located.  The death toll reported only reflects the casualties in the big cities.  Officials have not been able to calculate the death toll in the rural villages, but we can only imagine the unending devastation in Rupakot.  And we can only pray that our friends have survived.  The standard “OK” or “fine” are not likely at this point.  After something like this, simply “alive” is all that we can pray for.

We at Project for a Village feel a deep connection to the Nepali people, and specifically to the people of Rupakot.  That is why, as of April 25th, 2015, 100% of the donations received will go directly towards disaster relief. Everything helps.

Piece by piece we will help them rebuild their homes.  Piece by piece we will help them repair their lives.  Piece by piece we will help them restore their hope.

Stone by stone, we will move mountains.