I hope you don’t mind me approaching you this way, but it is the easiest way for me to ask for your help.
I’m sure you’re aware of the recent earthquake disasters in Nepal and their ongoing struggle to survive and pick up the pieces in the aftermath of this tragedy.
The facts, as of today are:
[SIZE=“5”][SIZE=“4”]Number of people killed: 8,617
Number of people injured: 16,808
Number of people displaced: 2.8 million
Number of people affected: 5.6 million
Number of people in need of food assistance: More than 1 million
Number of hospitals damaged: 26
Number of houses destroyed: over 473,000[/SIZE][/SIZE]
For the ones amongst you that don’t know me, I am Steve Colligan, living in the UK, but seem to spend a lot of my time unicycling in the Himalayas. I particularly have strong links with Nepal and some of the people living there, having visited the country 15 times over the last 18 years.
In 2008 I raised a substantial amount of money to help build a school in a remote mountainous part of Nepal. I’m sure some of you will remember the challenge I undertook to raise money. For the ones that don’t know, I rode 680 miles across the Himalayas from Tibet to Nepal on my unicycle. This sponsored ride was supported by a British run company called Redspokes Adventure Tours, who specialise in adventurous mountain bike tours around the world. I paid for their support out of my own pocket to ensure all raised money went to building the school; I couldn’t have completed this ride if it wasn’t for Redspokes.
Redspokes Adventure Tours have set up, and continue to manage, several charities in some of the countries they run their tours, but none as yet in Nepal. The manager of Redspokes contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I could help them. In 2004 Redspokes established a UK registered charity, called Laotian Village Community Fund (LVCF). This charity not only helps people in need in Laos, but also people in need in Tibet, Pakistan, Burma, Peru and Vietnam. Through their charity webpage, Redspokes LVCF, they have set up a separate Nepal Earthquake Appeal and so far they have over £5,000 in donations.
Redspokes have asked me to use my knowledge of the country and my Nepali contacts to help coordinate relief to areas in Nepal that are not receiving national or international aid. Redspokes are very keen to ensure that all donations go to the people that need it. I have Nepali friends that work in lead roles for a charity organisation in Nepal, which is purely voluntary. With it being a voluntary organisation, it means that every penny of Redspokes donations will go to the people who need it. To feed them, supply drinking water, medicines, emergency shelter and bedding, repair drinking water supplies, repair and rebuild homes, etc, etc. Things are about to get a lot worse in Nepal, as the monsoon rains are due at the end of this month.
I’ve seen poverty in Nepal and I can certainly confirm that it is one of the poorest countries in the world. And that was before the earthquake struck!
I’m asking for your help by donating online on the Redspokes charity website, LVCF. This is very quick and straight forward to do. I can promise that every penny of your donation will go to help improve someone’s life who is in desperate need right now. There is provision on the donations page of the website to leave your name and any comments, if you so wish. This is purely optional and if left blank the donation will be recorded as anonymous. I personally feel it would be nice for any help to be recognised, either as an individual, or mentioning its from the unicycle community. It would be difficult for me to thank you all personally, but I will keep monitoring the donations page and your comments. Thank you.
Just in case these links to the website don’t work, the address is: www.lvcf.co.uk The ‘Just Giving’ link to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal is on the right hand side of that webpage.
Redspokes are very keen to ensure that how donations are spent is transparent. From the UK I will be supporting my contacts in Nepal to ensure that there is photographic evidence of the damage,itemised lists detailing the cost of food, water, shelter, building materials, etc, etc, then photographic evidence showing these supplies being delivered.
Thank you very much in advance for your help. Like I say, every penny WILL make a difference.