Our a twenty hour journey from India came to an end at 4am in the main bus terminal in Kathmandu. It was the start of what was meant to be a month long trip to Nepal. Participate in a trial run, a quick trip to Pokhara, a trek to Everest Base camp and then onto Thailand (the next stop on my journey). I ended up staying in Nepal for 3 months and only left as my visa was expiring. I did what I came to do in Nepal. Here are some of the things I didn’t know:
- I did not know the lessons I would learn.
- I did not know how I would experience how resilient people can be when faced with adversity.
- I did not know that I would meet amazing people giving so freely of their time to assist in a country that is not there own.
- I did not know that the small I amount of assistance I’d give, would spread and reach all corners of the globe.
- I did not understand how, when required, people can work together to achieve a common goal despite language and cultural differences.
- I did not know how generous and trusting people can be to assist others in need.
I was in Nepal for the earthquake on 25th April 2015. My story has no merit among the millions of other stories. People that have lost everything they own. Lost loved ones and breadwinners. Entire families affected. Lives changed forever.
In the weeks following the disaster of the 25th of April I have seen a population so steadfast and resilient. They’ve worked together to rebuild and salvage what they can of their lives. Despite a 90% tourist cancellation rate (where tourism is their main economic driver), they still open their shops and trade with a smile.
Of the tourists that still travelled to Nepal to assist and those that remained, people have done some amazing things to assist. From raising funds to helping rebuild and creating awareness, people from all over the world have got involved to assist Nepal in any way that they can.
Myself and three friends were thinking about how we could continue to raise funds and assist Nepal while creating something sustainable. After a few days of thinking and planning we came up with Nepal 425 (www.nepal425.com). This is a collaborative project to collect photographs from people telling the story of Nepal through photography. Photography has a way of telling a story that crosses language barriers and can be conveyed all over the world. We will collect and collaborate these photos into the Nepal 425 photo book and also displayed them in exhibitions around the world to continue raising funds for Nepal. Please watch the overview video of our project and “like” us on Facebook
If you ever have the chance to visit to this amazing country, I’d encourage you to do so. Not only are you likely to learn a few things that you might not know, but Nepal could really use your assistance (through tourism) to get back on it’s feet.