AT TAYLOR'S: Dr Priya Madhavan (Priya.Madhavan@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Non-Resident Nepali Association, Malaysia (contact@nrnmalaysia.org)

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Nepal on 25th April 2015 and another measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale on 12th May 2015 have left nearly 9,000 people dead, more than 21,800 injured and destroyed tens of thousands of houses, temples and historical sites. Dozens of aftershocks measuring between 4 to 5 on the Richter scale have also been recorded. The occurrence of the second earthquake and the continued aftershocks have severely traumatized thousands of Nepalese who now fear returning into buildings weakened by the tremors and are struggling to cope with the large scale loss in both infrastructure and human lives.

Taylor’s University School of Medicine with the support of Taylor’s IMPACT team, Taylor’s CSI Volunteers and Omega Leo Club of Taylor’s University held a fundraising project for three weeks on the Lakeside Campus and the clinical school at Sg Buloh to raise funds for the Nepali victims of the recent disaster. Partnering with the Non-Resident Nepali Association of Malaysia (NRNA), the funds raised were channeled to its NRNA counterparts in Kathmandu to help rebuild schools near the epicenter of the earthquake. According to UNICEF, at least 950,000 children in Nepal will not be able to return to school for the start of the new term, unless urgent action is taken to provide temporary learning spaces and repair damaged school buildings following the quake.

Under the school rebuilding in Nepal project, funds collected will be channeled to Janasewa Primary School in Naldum, Kavre, Nepal. Naldum is a remote village in Kavre district with poor economic conditions. The principal occupation of local residents is in agriculture and tourism, and few can afford to send their children away to school. The local public school of 51 students is too unsafe to be reoccupied. When the new school semester began on 31st May, students across Nepal attended class in temporary classrooms - some made out of bamboo - on school grounds. For Janasewa, reopening so soon after the quake has proved impossible, with temporary classrooms still unavailable.
Supported by the Meet Nepal and Dharmashakti.Org team in Kavre, Taylor’s will be contributing RM6,760, the full amount raised during the two weeks fundraising project on campus for the temporary learning centres and other educational tools to the Janesewa students. With the monsoon season arriving in Nepal soon, the temporary learning centres would provide safety and shelter for the students while waiting for the government to reconstruct a new building which will cost approximately USD100,0000.
Drona Dewi, a representative from NRNA Malaysia remarked, “The whole world is praying for the quick recovery of Nepal, irrespective of race, colour and religion. Despite the obvious disaster and loss of life, there is a blessing in knowing so many people care. I would like to thank Taylor’s University for working together with NRNA Malaysia to reach out to the Nepali children and helping to secure their education in the midst of so much destruction. It has a great pleasure working with the really fine people at Taylor’s.” Meanwhile, IMPACT Project Coordinator, Amelia Ooi also expressed her empathy, “I believe that we as Malaysians should appreciate and be thankful our country isn’t affected by earthquakes. So, we should do our part in helping others out there who are in dire need,” she said, highlighting that monetary contributions were the best aid for now due to limited access to transport goods into Nepal.
NRNA Malaysia was established with the purpose of uniting and binding the Nepali Diaspora under one umbrella on 11th October 2003. NRNA has developed into a non-governmental global organization and a network of Nepali origin by establishing a National Coordination Council (NCC) in 69 countries to represent its interests, concerns and commitments. To date, NRNA ICC has provided relief supplies to 17,000 families and 68,000 individuals in Nepal. For more information on NRNA Malaysia, please visit http://nrna.org.np/ or e-mail sangkarbahadur@gmail.com (Mr Sangkar Poudel, President) or dronadewi@gmail.com (Ms Drona Dewi, representative). Other queries regarding the fundraising project may be directed to Dr Priya Madhavan (Priya.Madhavan@taylors.edu.my) or Mr Albert Ling (Albert.Ling@taylors.edu.my)

Written by Amelia Ooi