Today’s earthquake – a few updates

It is past midnight now in Kathmandu, and almost 12 hours since the 2nd large earthquake of 7.3 hit Nepal.  The SIRC staff and patients are spending the night outside tonight due to the aftershocks and fear of being inside the building.  I can understand their fear.

Fortunately there were no casualties at SIRC and all seem to be doing ok.  Stephen Muldoon from Livability International told Maggie there is a sense of calm at SIRC as night was falling.

What continues to impress me is the dedication of the SIRC staff towards the patients.  Can you imagine the coordination needed to move 79 immobile patients out of the building and into the courtyard to safety ….. while keeping a calm head yet wondering how their own families are doing at home??  Imagine the strength of character of these staff members and carers need to put up tents as overnight shelter for the patients??  Thank goodness it is 20 degrees tonight in Kathmandu and for once rain is not forecast.  They really amaze me and it makes me feel proud to be associated with SIRC.

My friends Peter & Claire have updated their blog with the latest from SIRC, they had time to talk and text with the doctors and Esha this morning (while I had to commute into work!).  Please follow this link to the SpiNepal blog which also tells of the amazing support the global SCI community have been providing, and continue to provide in the form of donations of equipment, supplies, expertise and potentially volunteers with SCI expertise who will travel to SIRC over the coming months and shore up SIRC’s talented  rehabilitation team.

And for those of you familiar with Child Haven, Kanya and the kids in the children’s home in Kathmandu are unharmed and safe and sound.  They were in the Kavre district yesterday distributing tarps, blankets and a few other essentials with some of the older kids.  Thank goodness it was yesterday and not today, they are safer all together.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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3 Responses to Today’s earthquake – a few updates

  1. bkmiec says:

    I’m glad to hear all at SIRC and Child Haven are ok, Kate. A frightening time indeed, for them and all in the hard-hit areas of Nepal right now. Sounds like the folks at SIRC are very well-organized and working with the situation as well as they can (impressively well, as you say). Wishing them continued strength as they make their way through this time.

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