#NamasteNepal

Thanks to all our supporters, who have donated and helped spread the word about our fundraising campaign. Today, we are launching a new challenge, #NamasteNepal. The challenge is:

1) Donate to help KLL sustain our efforts for Nepal
2) Take a picture of yourself doing Namaste
3) Challenge 3 friends of yours to do the same.

If you have already donated, feel free to skip to #2.

We also welcome other fundraising campaigns raising funds for Nepal to use the #NamasteNepal challenge linked to their own fundraising campaigns.

Featured Volunteer of the Day

Shitu Rajbhandari - Featured KLL VolunteerToday’s featured volunteer is Shitu RajBhandari, who has made those of us working with KLL and QuakeMap laugh and feel inspired over the last few weeks.

Who are you?

I am writer and am currently working on my first novel that is loosely based on Nepali mythology, politics and culture while exploring the concept of home. I am a writing workshop instructor and design workshop, which uses writing and the art of storytelling as a form of communication to share ideas and social issues. I am involved in a public writing project called Galli Salliharuma, which maps Kathmandu, through people’s personal narratives. I am also a freelance writing consultant and have been editing books, documents, reports and creating marketing materials for non-governmental organizations for the projects that they are involved in since I got back from the States in August 2014.

Where were you during the earthquake?

I was with thirty people at Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka as one of the participants of the Oral History Workshop organized by photo.circle. During the week long workshop we talked about people’s personal history and one of our point of references were historical events and their impact on the their life. Kristen Zipperer, one of the participants and I went to Chyasal in Patan on Thursday to ask people about the stories they had heard about the 1934 earthquake and how they were preparing themselves for the predicted earthquake in Kathmandu. I am still amazed by this unfortunate co-incidence.

Why are you here?

After the earthquake, like everyone else my first concern was my family. Luckily all of them, including my extended family were safe. After two days of being with them and reading the news, I began to grow restless and wanted to help beyond my home. I felt responsible to use the good fortune of being untouched by the earthquake to help those who weren’t that lucky. I am a very sensitive and emotional person by nature and I knew I would be more of a liability on the immediate rescue and relief front. I volunteered with the Yellow House’s data team for the first week and joined the Quakemap team when the teams merged. My journalistic background was put to good use here in verifying reports and trying to coordinate relief in areas of need.

What has your experience been?

It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this team of dedicated, generous and positive group of individuals. The level of self-motivation and the desire to help people they have never seen before is exemplary, especially for a thankless job as this. Quakemap has evolved over the month and so have we as a team to continue to give our support to be useful as possible in this time of need. I am very glad that I have this team and this experience as a part of my great earthquake story.

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