Featured Image: Mount Everest, by Gunther Hagleitner, Creative Commons Attribution License, on Flickr.com.


by Kat Fiske

As I sat in the restaurant of a hotel in Kathmandu, I noticed a large expedition team preparing to depart for Mount Everest. As they went over their plans for the trek to base camp, I couldn’t help but think about what a task it is to take on this most famous of mountains, what formidable difficulties and dangers they might face in doing so.

Climbing the mountain means facing walls of ice, bridging bottomless crevasses, keeping a sharp eye out for avalanches and sudden storms. I’m sure for many on this expedition team, Everest would be a challenge of a lifetime, but they seemed ready and well-equipped for their mission. It was this realization that jarred my thoughts back to why I was in Kathmandu in the first place – to visit communities affected by last year’s devastating earthquake.

Nepal was not ready nor well-equipped for the 7.8 magnitude quake, which struck on April 25, 2015, one year ago today, and killed nearly 9,000 people, injured more than 20,000 and destroyed more than 600,000 homes.

Among the most severely affected areas were poor rural villages, known as Village Development Committees (VDCs), near the epicenter, four of which you support through your gifts to LWR’s Nepal Earthquake Response Program (NERP), which began in May 2015. Now, a year after the earthquake, my colleagues and I were in Nepal to visit some of these communities to see first-hand how they were recovering.

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