‘I lost a friend this weekend. He was one of over 4,000 lost in the great nation of Nepal,’ Cameron Sinclair wrote on his Facebook page yesterday. ‘As I’m not in a position to help anymore it has been hard to sit and watch,’ he continues, ‘but I know Dan would be annoyed if I didn’t speak my mind.’
‘Emergency relief and recovery are only two parts what will be needed,’ Sinclair states. ‘Right now it is, without question, the most important and immediate support needed. If you truly care, you cannot walk away after CNN does and forget two other important pieces of the rebuilding puzzle: reconstruction and economic recovery.’
Think beyond the images
Regarding help in the long term, Sinclair advises to think beyond the images: ‘Nepal is more than cities and mountains. There are many rural areas impacted that media has given little attention to. Wait to see how you can help there.’
Take the time, Sinclair adds. ‘It is possible to build back better and there are many lessons on how funding can be poorly or very well utilized to build a country’s system of roads, housing, water, education and health systems to decrease such devastation in the future. Some folks call this resilience, I call it common sense.’
Another important advice is not to bring in workers from abroad, but to invest in local talent. ‘The heroic efforts of those working on the ground right now are Nepali. The unwavering strength of the Nepali people will continue to shine through. If you are not bringing exponential support, you are a burden to the situation. You are taking a roof from someone’s head, food from their plate.’
Finally Sinclair mentions that he is waiting to hear from two more friends in the country and in the meantime he gives links to groups he partnered with before as well as an orphanage, which his friend Dan worked with.
Pictures in this post are from SIM Central and Southeast Asia