One Year Later ….. Your Impact

One year ago today, the 1st of two major earthquakes struck Nepal with devastating effects.  Very soon after and with the help and support of Chantal Goffoz, Handicap International, Drs Peter Wing and Claire Weeks (SpiNepal) and myself to set up “From Vancouver to Kathmandu” fundraising program.  Through your generous donations, CAD$35,000 was raised and directed to the needs of SIRC.

Now I know there has been lots in the media on this 1st anniversary where most of the US$4 billion in humanitarian aid has not yet been distributed to the Nepalese one year later.  It’s all true … but the beauty of donating via people like Peter, Claire and I, is that we make sure your donations are directed to where it is most needed.  And that no time is wasted in putting your dollars to immediate work, benefiting (in this case), the families and those who suffered spinal cord injuries.

HI One Year Later

Chantal Goffoz, Handicap International Canada has kindly shared a report detailing how our donations were spent at SIRC.  Know your donations were spent well with every penny accounted for.  The following is the HI Canada Report which includes the end of funding report from SIRC.

April 25, 2015 – April 25, 2016

“From Vancouver to Kathmandu”, we supported the wounded victims!

Prof. Dr. Taslim Uddin (Third from Left) during one of his daily medical rounds at the earthquake patient ward. © SIRC

Prof. Dr. Taslim Uddin (Third from Left) during one of his daily medical rounds at the earthquake patient ward. © SIRC


The deadly earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 left many people dead and many more injured. Collapsed roofs, falling stone walls, and boulders were the main causes of Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs). As an immediate response to the earthquake, several medical teams from the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Center (SIRC) and Handicap International (HI) worked in the field to assess and aid victims who had sustained SCIs. The second major earthquake on May 12, 2015 further increased the number of victims with SCI. At this critical moment, the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre was able to upgrade its facilities to accommodate the increased number of patients with the help of various national and international organizations, including HI Canada Fundraiser “From Vancouver to Kathmandu”.

“From Vancouver to Kathmandu”

Thanks to your support, we collected around CAD$35,000. With this fund, the centre was able to meet immediate expansion needs ranging from purchasing additional supplies to hiring additional staff.

Thanks to your support, HI Canada was able to support SIRC in buying essential foods and supplies for the patients, as well as hiring temporary staff and international experts.

Breakdown of the activities

  1. The centre provided 4 well-balanced meals everyday. For the effective healing process, the patients were given nutritious and healthy meals advised by a nutritionist at the centre.
  2. The centre has increased the number of beds from 51 to 150 in order to meet the increased number of patients. In addition, medical and administrative supplies were purchased.
  3. SIRC hired additional staff including therapists, nurses and psychologists for the period of 6 months.
  4. In order to train existing staff and newly hired trainees, 4 experts including Dr. Apichana Kovinda , Prof. Dr. Taslim Uddin, Md. Yeasir Arafat Alve and Specialist Alphonse Nokrek were invited to the SIRC.

Beyond gratitude:

Patient resting on a mattress © SIRC

Patient resting on a mattress © SIRC

The support received from the fundraiser “From Vancouver to Kathmandu” via Handicap International Canada website has been instrumental in meeting the immediate expansion needs of the centre after the massive earthquake. The centre has received huge benefits from this generous support and it is grateful for this contribution. We have been continuously striving to improve the health and lives of SCI people and we will always try our best to improve the level and quality of services to the patients with spinal cord injury in the future.

Thank you so much for your support and cooperation.  It is your support that helps and strengthens us to do more for our patients and for efficient service delivery. Many thanks.

The full report is available here.

Who we are :

  • Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) is a Nepal-based not-for-profit organization founded in 2002 with the goal of providing rehabilitation services to the people who suffer from Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) from all over Nepal. The centre provides specialized rehabilitation treatment to the patients.
  • Handicap International was founded in 1982 in Thailand to support people living with disabilities, who are the most vulnerable around the world. Handicap International acts in situation of extreme poverty, natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Nepal, humanitarian crises, and armed conflicts, such as in Syria and its neighbouring countries. Handicap International is currently active in about 60 countries.

Thank you Nikita Kayastha for preparing SIRC’s report, and to Chantal Goffoz for providing Handicap International’s sightline into the impact of your generous donations.

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 the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. 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 the 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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