KELOWNA – News of a second earthquake in Nepal is hitting hard for the people and groups around the world trying to help the quake-ravaged country. One local group is the Hope for the Nations charity. Longtime volunteer Patti Hoy is heading to Nepal next Tuesday.
“It’s a sad state of affairs and my heart just goes out to them as far as the fear they must be feeling, the feeling of being destitute, the feeling of hopelessness, so hopefully we can pass on to them the world is trying to make difference,” says Hoy.
The Kelowna resident has been in Nepal a dozen times but she knows this upcoming trip will be unlike any other. Hope for the Nations typically offers aid to children and women but Hoy is prepared to help all Nepalese people in any capacity she can.
“They are back out of their homes sleeping in tents or under tarps and unfortunately the rains have started earlier than expected,” says Hoy. “Now you have mud to deal with, you have unsanitary situations to deal with.”
The upcoming monsoon season is one problem, the risk of spreading diseases is another. Since the first quake hit, Hope for the Nations has provided about $25,000 in relief funding, thanks in large part to Okanagan donors. But the local help doesn’t end there.
“Thus far, we have raised about $66,000, which we are happy about,” says Kevin Edgecombe. “Thank you very much to all the people that have contributed.”
Edgecombe heads a charity called Intercultural Women’s Education Network (IWEN). He and other volunteers are heading to Nepal this weekend but not before holding a number of fundraisers to raise as much money as possible.
“The sad reality is people are terrified, they are simply scared to go in their houses again” says Edgecombe. “Life was starting to get a little bit back to normal and as of today different story so it’s really a shot in the arm for them unfortunately–tough day for them.”
IWEN has two more fundraisers taking place in Kelowna. One is a benefit concert at the Laurel Packing house Tuesday evening from 7 p.m. until midnight. Tickets are $30. The other fundraiser takes place on Thursday evening at Rose’s Waterfront Pub. It starts at 7 p.m. A $20 ticket includes a burger and beverage.