International students raise funds for Nepal quake victims
30 April 2015
International students at Aberystwyth University have set about raising money to support rebuilding work in Nepal, following last week’s devastating earthquake.
Final year students Anna Sharad Gautam, who is from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, and Katharina Hopp from Oldenburg, near Bremen in northern Germany, are studying International Politics and the Third World at the Department of International Politics.
As Vice President and President of Aberystwyth’s International Students Association, Anna and Katharina organised a beach barbeque on Thursday 30 April, a cake sale on the University’s Penglais campus on Friday 1 May, and a film night at the Coopers Arms on Monday 4 May.
All the money raised by the Aberystwyth International Nepal Emergency Fund will go towards the British Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Anna’s parents and sister, who live in Kathmandu, were forced to spend the first few days in temporary shelter and camping in the garden of their home, for fear of further damage caused by aftershocks.
Speaking of being so far from home at such a difficult time, Anna said: “I felt helpless after news of the earth quake came through, I couldn’t do more than watch the news. For the first two days it was not possible to contact my family, but now I know they are safe and I’m able to speak to them via the internet.”
“Nepal is one of the poorest 20 countries in the world. Around 8m people out of a population of 27m have been affected, with 1.4m in need of emergency aid. There is also a risk of epidemics with the monsoon rains expected soon.”
“My plan is to think beyond the immediate event and raise funds to build better homes, especially in the villages outside Kathmandu. It is the older buildings in Kathmandu and the surrounding villages, often houses built of mud, that have collapsed.”
Professor John Grattan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience and International has welcomed Anna and Katharina’s initiative. He said: “The aftermath of the recent earthquake in Nepal is truly devastating, so it is greatly encouraging that third year students, Anna Gautum and Katharina Hopp, along with the other two committee members of Aberystwyth International Students Association, Sophie Finnen and Kilian Weber, have organised three fundraising events for Nepal earthquake victims.”
Anna and Katharina will travel to Kathmandu at the beginning of June to start a three month internship with Saathi, an organisation dedicated to tackling domestic violence against women.
Anna intends to return to Europe at the end of the summer to study for a Masters in Development Studies in Geneva, and Katharina will be studying for a Masters in Development Studies in Lund University, Sweden.
Further information about the work of the Aberystwyth University International Students Association is available here.
Donations to the Aberystwyth International Nepal Emergency Fund can be made online here. The appeal will remain open until Monday 25 May.
Further information about the British Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Appeal is available here.
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