For two Swindon charity workers the scenes in the aftermath of the Nepali earthquake are heartbreaking.
Rosa and Ian Matheson from Highworth have raised funds for the past five years for the Angel Orphanage in Nepal and are now calling for people to keep up the donations as they can get the aid to where it really matters.
As the world’s media moves on whole communities only miles from Kathmandu with no buildings left standing have still not received any aid and the monsoon season is now upon them.
The next few months will be one big battle for their lives as families try to survive with no real shelter, no running water whilst fighting the very real risks of disease and landslides caused by the earthquake’s structural damage.
Ian, who has only just returned from Nepal, said: “We visited several villages trying to get them some aid. A lot of the places we’ve visited haven’t seen any aid at all. We’ve been trying to give them as much aid as possible with money raised especially using corrugated iron so that they can put together some sort of temporary shelter to get them through the monsoon months which last from now until September.
“It is a devastating to see. We’ve got to know these communities very well and although they are very resilient they have some very tough months ahead. We’re able to get the aid directly where it is needed using our local contacts. We can provide very real help for them. At the moment the Nepali Government has not lifted the 40% import tax so a lot of the aid from the bigger organisations are still sat at the airport not being used.”
The couple are planning a trip in late September after the monsoons to help with the rebuilding including earth-bag buildings. They also want volunteers to join them in Nepal to help rebuild, if they can pay their own way.
Rosa said: “There is so much aid that people need from the basics to shelter. Any little help will really make a difference to a lot of people’s lives.”
In the meantime the Mathesons are not slowing down their fundraising events and have organised a cream tea in the garden on Saturday 4 July at 2.30pm at Brandy Bush, Brookfield, a stall at Longcot Village Fair on Sunday 12 July and Jazz on The Lawn on Sunday 26 July at Southerndown, Shrivenham from 12.30pm with The All Stars Jazz Band.
For more information about the events call 01793 764979.