BUENA PARK (CBSLA.com) — A local organization that exists to provide aid for children facing challenges in Nepal due to human trafficking has expanded to raise support in a similar fashion for those children impacted by recent earthquakes in the region.
The organization Namaste Nepal-Helping Himalayan Children (NNHHC), launched by an Orange County teacher, has long been dedicated to improving life for children in Nepal through mentoring, educational scholarships, and building libraries.
The needs and compromise of children in Nepal since the massive 7.8 earthquake, however, have become extraordinarily clear, and are impossible to ignore.
Heather Guay, founder of NNHHC, says she receives messages and photos from Nepal regularly, pleading for assistance with an undeniable sense of urgency. Thgouh she says her friends all survived the quakes, they lost their homes to the destruction.
Schools supported by the NNHHC have also suffered extensive damage.
“It’s overwhelming,” Guay said. “Being on the phone with them, while there are earthquakes going on, aftershocks that are 6.0 and above. I can hear the fear they are living.”
Of dominant concern is that the temporary shelters, which many displaced children now have no choice but to call home, will not withstand the quickly-approaching monsoon season.
“There are over eight-thousand casualties, so there are a lot of homeless orphans now in Nepal, and those children are much more at-risk,” Guay said. “It’s already raining. I was on the phone this morning, and I could hear the storm.”
Guay’s students at Corey Elementary School in Buena Park have raised $1,300, with some even bringing in their piggy banks to donate.
Funding goals include, first and foremost, a better shelter, food and water, and then the eventual goal of bringing in therapists.
While the challenge to accomplish these goals is as clear as the need for them to be met, Guay finds heart when she hears from those she sets out to help through the NNHHC. Guay received a photo, sent to her by a mother in Nepal, showing her daughter, smiling amongst the rubble.
She colored a ‘thank you’ picture to send to Guay.
For more information on how you can help children in Nepal through the NNHHC, visit the Namaste Nepal website here.