Nepalese students do their part to help Nepal

Nepalese students do their part to help Nepal

After two major earthquakes in Nepal, Hong Kong students have taken it upon themselves to do their part and raise money to help

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(From left) Thapa Siddhartha Raj, Limbu Amin, Sunwar Raj, and Limbu Calvin perform Nepalese songs.
(From left) Thapa Siddhartha Raj, Limbu Amin, Sunwar Raj, and Limbu Calvin perform Nepalese songs.

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Atreya Amisha (left) and Raj Phirens (right) draw henna on Vice-Principal Cheung Sau-hung (centre) as part of the fundraising activities.
Atreya Amisha (left) and Raj Phirens (right) draw henna on Vice-Principal Cheung Sau-hung (centre) as part of the fundraising activities.

Following two major earthquakes that have devastated Nepal, charity events have sprung up across Hong Kong to raise money and support relief efforts. At CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School in Tuen Mun, students felt they could help raise money and spread awareness, not just about the earthquakes, but about Nepalese culture as well.

A group of Nepalese students at the school organised a day of fundraising, supported by the school's principal, Lai Chu-kuen, and the teachers. On May 6, all students could take part in a "Casual Wear Day" - if they made a donation, they didn't have to wear their school uniforms. During lunch, there were stalls for henna drawing and live music performances of Nepalese songs.

The organisers were worried about how successful such a fundraiser would be, says Pradhan Smirti, 14.

"We weren't really sure if many people would be interested in joining something like this," she says. "Because they had to pay and then the next day we had to wear school uniforms again. So we weren't really sure."

Not to mention there was also a volleyball tournament at lunchtime which the organisers were concerned would take attention away from their event.

Limbu Amin, 14, was one of the performers. "Not many of the Chinese [students] came to see it," he admits, saying the music wasn't a style that they were familiar with. "But the Nepali and the Pakistanis came."

But overall, the support from the student body surprised them. "It exceeded my expectations," says Smirti. "There were a lot of students who didn't wear casual clothes but still donated. That was really touching."

Last month's 7.8-magnitude earthquake left at least 8,046 people dead and more than 17,800 injured. For the Nepalese students in Hong Kong, news of the earthquake left their families here panicked as they tried to contact relatives in Nepal.


After two major earthquakes, Nepal needs more help than ever. Here is how you can pitch in


Atreya Amisha, 15, says the first thing they had to do was try to find a way to get in touch with the people they knew there.

"I was mostly worried about my family members," she says. "And we couldn't contact them. My father is in Nepal, in Kathmandu. I talked to him that night - the night there was an earthquake. So he is ok, but I am still worried."

Amin says the fundraiser isn't just about their families, it's about all of Nepal. "My family are safe," he says. "Luckily they don't live in Kathmandu, so it's OK for me. I just want to help others, help their families."

But first the students had to decide what to do with the money they raised. "We don't really trust our Prime Minister [Sushil Koirala] with money," says Smirti, "and we really want [the victims] to have clothes and tents rather than money."

The students also find it disappointing that while the country is struggling to cope with the disaster, the prime minister isn't there to support the people. "He's actually in Thailand," said Amisha with disdain.

The group also expressed their anger at how the government has been handling the relief efforts.

"We decided to support by giving them supplies and giving them support, rather than giving them money," explains Amin. The day's activities raised HK$5,500, which the students decided to donate to Hong Kong Red Cross.

After a second earthquake struck the region earlier this week, leaving at least 66 dead and more injured, Nepal needs continued support to recover. But it's easier said than done. "I think that people will donate and then forget," Smirti sighs. "But it's really nice seeing local people donating money to help Nepal."

The group believes it's important to keep in mind that relief efforts take time, and continued support after a disaster is crucial to rebuilding and recovery. "After we forget, many people will still need help," says Smirti. So they are planning more events over the summer to remind people to continue their contributions.

Tamling Deena, 14, says this same concept carries on to any disaster-struck area. "This isn't just about Nepal, or only helping because we're Nepali," she says. "It's about humanity, and helping anyone who needs it."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Help Nepal and those in need

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1 comment

Dor Arie

17:43pm

These are my Form 3 English students. For three years, I have had the pleasure of watching them develop and grow into the wonderful contributors to society that they are becoming. I admire their initiative and the compassion, empathy and concern which drives them to reach out to those less fortunate.