Thank you Direct Relief!

Earlier this week, Direct Relief awarded SIRC with funding of US$300,000 to continue SIRC’s great work in providing post-earthquake medical care and SCI rehabilitation services to their patients.  WOW!

Direct Relief logo

Direct Relief are a California-based NGO whose primary focus is the provision of medical resources in times of emergency or as a result of poverty.  Their reputation is second to none, they have been active in Nepal for many years and know the lay of the land.  Having this local expertise is key to making a real difference on the ground, and with Direct Relief, it shows.

This award is in no small thanks to the hard work and dedication of SIRC’s admin team including (but not limited to!) Esha Thapa SIRC Executive Director and Nikita Shrestha, SIRC Program Coordinator.  Huge thanks to Stephen and Maggie Muldoon of Livability International for their continued support, guidance and encouragement.  A team effort as always.

Here’s an excerpt from Direct Relief’s announcement that specifically mentions SIRC:

2.  Supporting Long-Term Medical and Rehabilitation Services for Earthquake Survivors

Earthquakes often cause traumatic injuries that, even if treated successfully, result in lifelong disabling conditions for the injured persons.  Direct Relief’s experience in post-disaster situations has reinforced the importance of supporting the institutions and services that provide the specialized care for such persons – and will do so for decades.  This has been a priority during the past three months, and Direct Relief believes this use of Nepal earthquake funds is important as it will provide essential long-term benefit to those left with disabling conditions from the quakes.

Direct Relief is supporting the Hospital & Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (HRDC) and the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) with medical materials and funding to sustain and expand these essential services.  These dedicated rehabilitation departments and facilities are essential to the health outcomes and quality of life for people who have sustained traumatic injuries.

The Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) was established in 2002 by Nepali nonprofit Spinal Injury Sangha Nepal. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) require specialized treatment and life-long management. SIRC is the only facility in Nepal that specializes exclusively in the rehabilitative care, treatment, education, and disability management of patients with spinal cord injuries.  Studies have shown that the mortality rates within the first year for patients who have sustained an SCI are dramatically reduced when access to a hospital-based rehabilitation department or national rehabilitation facility is established

Specializing in musculo-skeletal disorders, HRDC focuses its treatment and rehabilitation services on children below 18 years of age with priority given to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  HRDC also conducts medical outreach missions throughout Nepal. These missions target children living in remote and underprivileged communities, where medical care is inaccessible.

To see the full article, please click here.

Note:  Check out our very own Chanda Rana – SIRC’s Rehab in Charge saying some words of thanks at 1:07 mins mark in the clip.  She is pictured at the SIRC facility with the Kavre hills in the background.

Credit: Direct Relief

Credit: Direct Relief

Also of note, HRDC also a recipient of Direct Relief’s funding, is located on the edge of the town of Banepa.  Banepa is where I lived while I worked at SIRC last year.  Congratulations to HRDC on their successful funding application also.

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 Thank you Direct Relief!

  1. renu says:

    wohoo! Great News!

  2. Really enjoyed your article. SIRC’s an excellent organization. Everyone at Direct Relief feels privileged to support their great work.

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