Within a month of Nepal’s devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015, the community of FIRE’s home base, Flagstaff, Arizona, donated $25,000 through three different fundraisers for aid to the village of Langtang, Nepal. FIRE distributed $25,000 worth of immediate aid to 60 of the 116 Langtang families, hand-to-hand. This included medical treatment, food, shelter, clothing, and blankets. FIRE funds helped build a bridge on the main trail to Langtang Valley in preparation for their move back to the village after the earthquake. FIRE continues to provide basic aid and support occasionally to other communities in Nepal.
Once the basic needs of most of the village of Langtang were met, FIRE turned its focus to a few elders on the edge of Kangjin Gompa in Langtang Valley. Most of these elders were either unmarried, never had children, or lost their spouses in the earthquake. Most of them also either had trouble walking, seeing, using the toilet properly, or all of these things.
In February 2016, we did our first food distribution to these elders. We also distributed bedding including think blankets and mattresses.
In the December 2016, FIRE moved eight of the most vulnerable elders into an empty guest house for the winter. This was the first “Elder House” or care home for older people, in the Langtang Valley. For the four coldest months of winter, these eight people were warm, fed, cared for, and safe. We helped them by providing clothing, medicine, and all their day-to-day needs.
In the fall of 2017, we purchased stoves, gas, and firewood, so they could cook throughout the next winter. In early spring 2018, six of the elders with the greatest needs moved into a building with six private rooms that was built by Community Action Nepal (CAN).
FIRE continues to help support these elders with food and basic needs. In November 2018, FIRE is preparing to purchase and distribute firewood and 750 kilograms of food to these residents for the winter.
Elder House, Kyangin Gompa, Langtang, Nepal – Winter 2016-2017
Winter food and clothing distribution, Langtang, Nepal – November 2016