Locals Continue to Aid Villagers’ Rebuilding Efforts
While news of the earthquakes in Nepal recedes, residents of 48 remote Nepalese villages that local Rosalind Russell has populated with donated goats over the past decade continue to struggle with new challenges.
Top of the World School-Nepal in Wojethar, funded by Russell’s R Star Foundation, was closed due to quake damage. It re-opened last month under tarps, offering classes and setting an example in coping with disaster. A metal roof and tarp siding have been added, but tigers and snakes are now real threats, reports R-Star’s program director in Nepal, Rabindra Sitaula. Initial engineering reports estimate retrofitting for repairs at $8,000.
At least six people died and brick homes of all 600 residents disintegrated in Wojethar, said Sitaula, who used the foundation’s dwindling resources to deliver food supplies and plastic sheeting for makeshift shelters within days of the first quake in April.
In June, Laguna local Mary Williams’ Lacewings Foundation made a $10,000 gift to the R Star Foundation to aid building 107 permanent homes in Nepal.
House-building continues along with distribution of mosquito nets, Situala said in a recent report.
“He is the angel taking care of all matters to lift our villagers, all without pay as we remain a 100 percent volunteer organization,” Russell said.
Malawian Villagers Receive the Gift of Sight
Direct Connections to Africa, a non profit based in Laguna Beach, recently sent volunteer staff to several rural villages in Malawi, Africa, says a statement by founding board member Mary Ellen Carter.
They were joined by Laguna Hills ophthalmologist Dr. Diana Kersten, who conducted eye clinics for those who could not travel to a hospital. As a bonus, a U.S. patient of Kersten’s donated a well in the doctor’s name, providing clean water for one village.
Direct Connections to Africa provides educational supplies and scholarships to children to continue elementary and secondary education. They work with communities, creating and fostering recreational programs, promoting job development and helping meet medical needs.
The organization is entirely volunteer-based, and thus operates with no overhead.
Screening Raises Funds for Dorm
The Laguna Beach-based non-profit With My Own Two Hands Foundation hosted a documentary screening of the their film, “Maasai Daughters,” on Sunday, July 12, at the Port Theater.
Over $61,000 was raised from filmgoers, which will go towards construction in August of a new dormitory at the HELGA rescue center in Kajaido, Kenya. Its occupants will be 42 Maasai girls, who have been rescued from female genital mutilation and forced early marriages.
The documentary focused on the lives of three girls who faced similar situations and the women who rescued them.
For more info: contact MaryBeth Pugh at [email protected].