This weekend, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. The Kathmandu Post reported that up to 70% of houses in rural areas have been destroyed close to the epicentre in Gorkha. We're working with our partner organizations on the ground to distribute LuminAID lights to those homeless and without electricity.
We have added Nepal Earthquake Relief as an option for sponsoring a light through our Give Light, Get Light Package, and Donate a Light options. Our goal is to provide 500 lights for earthquake relief, to be distributed by our partner the Nepali Children's Education Project (NCEP), who we have worked with previously on education campaigns in Kathmandu. We are greatly saddened by the devastation in Nepal, but optimistic that the NCEP team will be able to bring our lights to those in need after this disaster. Their network of teachers, scholars, and volunteers has been impacted by the earthquake, and we are impressed by their initiative in responding to the disaster.
When reflecting on our 2013 light distribution project, Sara Alsayyed, NCEP’s Fund Development & Special Events Coordinator said:
"Due to rolling blackouts, it is common for people in Kathmandu to endure 16 hours a day without electricity. It became quite evident upon my arrival how one’s day is structured around the availability of light, and how we had to plan a lot of our work around what we called ‘the power hours’. For our scholars, a lack of electricity, and therefore a lack of a reliable light in the evenings, means that school work can only be accomplished by dim candlelight. Frankly, it’s not very effective, nor is it safe."
Following the earthquake Nepal's already-unstable electrical grid is down in many areas impacted by the earthquake and its aftershocks. We are seeing estimates as high as 8M for the number of people homeless due to the earthquake, and those who have their homes are still afraid to go back inside due to aftershocks and damaged buildings. LuminAID lights can provide comfort and safety to those impacted by the earthquake, without any need for additional batteries or electricity.