Hope and grief in Nepal one year after the earthquake

Chris Bain, CAFOD Director, writes about his recent visit to Rasuwa district in Nepal one year on from two devastating earthquakes. Watch a short video of Chris in Nepal and read about some of the families who are rebuilding their lives thanks to donations from CAFOD supporters and the tireless work of our partners.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb54G9klxnw]

Just over a year ago, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal north of Kathmandu. A few weeks later, on 12 May, another 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck in the northeast of the country. Nearly 9,000 people died, thousands more were injured, and 600,000 lost their homes and livelihoods. One year on, I travelled to Nepal to meet the communities that were affected, and see the work that CAFOD through our partners in Nepal have carried out to help people recover from this tragedy. It was my third visit to Nepal and I was saddened to see the impact of the disaster on the beautiful landscape and villages we passed.

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In Rasuwa, near the border with China, I met Kamala Thalea who lost her young son, two daughters and her mother when the earthquake struck. Kamala’s surviving daughter, Asmita aged 13, told me that she survived the earthquake because she was in a wooden section of their home, while her brother, sisters and grandmother were in a section of the house built of stone. Her hip was injured by falling rubble, but still she saved her two-year-old cousin who lay in the debris next door. Kamala was visiting her mother-in-law in a village three hours away, and arrived home the next day to a collapsed home and her lost children.

She said, “My family and old life are gone now, I only have my eldest daughter left with me.” Continue reading “Hope and grief in Nepal one year after the earthquake”

Pope Paul VI Lecture: Please join us on Friday 4 December

Cardinal Peter Turkson meets CAFOD's Director Chris Bain
Cardinal Peter Turkson meets Chris Bain

Director of CAFOD, Chris Bain, invites you to the upcoming annual Pope Paul VI Memorial lecture.

We are reaching that time of year when thoughts begin to turn to the start of Advent and the coming of Christmas. At CAFOD our thoughts also turn to our annual Pope Paul VI Memorial lecture. This year I am delighted that Cardinal Peter Turkson will be joining us to deliver the lecture on Friday 4 December. He will speak about the Church’s response to climate change in an address titled Care for Creation: how to protect and sustain our common home.

Reserve your free ticket for the CAFOD Pope Paul VI lecture

Cardinal Turkson has been president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. He is Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Coast, Ghana, and this year played a key role in communicating Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment.

We are especially glad that Cardinal Turkson is joining us this year as the lecture coincides with the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris when world leaders will meet to agree legally binding targets to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. If successful, the talks will set governments on a more sustainable pathway for economic growth, protecting the planet and people from climate change.

At CAFOD we see the impact climate change is having across the world. In communities where we work, many are suffering from more frequent and extreme floods, storms, or droughts, pushing the most vulnerable people further into poverty. And farming families are struggling with more unpredictable seasons, meaning crops fail and livestock die because of a lack of food and water. We are called to respond to this.

Continue reading “Pope Paul VI Lecture: Please join us on Friday 4 December”