Esther Benjamins Trust sends aid to 3,000 in remote village in Nepal

A woman of Kakada VDC carries a sack of rice.
A woman of Kakada VDC carries a sack of rice.

Rice, blankets and soap have been delivered to 3,000 earthquake victims in Nepal following a relief mission by The Esther Benjamins Trust.

The charity usually works against trafficking, which takes place in the remote rural area of Makwanpur.

However, since the earthquakes it has shifted its focus to helping victims of the natural disasters.

The charity’s chief executive Ian Kerr lives in Eastbourne and has been working locally to raise as much money as possible.

On Tuesday this week (May 26), Esther Benjamin Trust teams returned from a relief mission in Nepal.

Ian Kerr said, “We were able to help 3,000 people in a remote rural village where no other aid had been delivered.

“The Nepal Army provided transport for our teams and the police guarded the stuff against looters.”

However, the relief mission was not without its hitches.

Ian explained, “The trailer carrying sacks of rice, which was being pulled by a tractor, fell off and the army had to help lift the sacks.”

The basic package included food, salt and cooking oil and cost £30 for a household of five to seven people.

This package will feed them for around a month.

Esther Benjamin Trust’s next project will involve doing a survey of all the schools in its area.

Children are due to return to school in two weeks following the devastating earthquakes. However, Ian says many of them will be teaching in the open air because their classrooms were destroyed.

He said, “We need to work out whether we can provide temporary canvases or whether major reconstruction is needed.

“We also need to look at the possibility of community buildings, of which there are not many, being used as classrooms.”

When the Trust reconstructs a school each class room for 50 to 60 youngsters costs about £1,000.

The Trust provides the materials needed for reconstruction and local provide the labour and sources the wood because it is readily available in Nepal.

The funds raised by the Trust will nor only help rebuild schools, but provide temporary housing.

They will also be supplying medicines, water purification and seeds for replanting as well as rice and lentils.

Ian is urging as many people as possible to fundraising. A number of events have been organised locally and Ian says he is delighted with the response he has received in his home town.

A recent Nepali dinner at the Rompa Tennis Club raised around £2,400 and attracted supporters from as far away as Hampshire and Reading.

The Trust will also hold a dog walk on Sunday, June 21 at 10.30am from the East Dean car park to The Tiger Inn. Everyone is welcome including those who are not dog owners, as the Trust has arranged for some pooches to be available for the event.

Laku Sherpa, an Nepali woman from Eastbourne, has been fundraising for the Trust. She has completed the London Marathon and climbed Everest for the cause. Lake has raised more than £2,000 to date. Visit www.justgiving.com/Laku-Sherpa2 to sponsor her and find out more.

To help call Ian Kerr on 07860 341 359 or email ian.kerr@ebtrust.org.uk.

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