?Dear Venerable Bhanteji,
All the families in my village are very happy to receive roofing material and financial help from you. Since earthquake this is the biggest help we have received. Now we all can build our temporary house. We are very grateful to you. Thank you very much.? – Bina Nagarkoli
We were glad to be able to offer financial assistance and zinc sheets for roofing to 32 families in the village of Itahiti who lost their home due to the devastating earthquake. When I visited the villagers, who lost their homes and who were living in plastic tent, they had many urgent needs. But their main and most urgent need was temporary housing. They needed help for roofing material so that they could build their own little huts and move out of uncomfortable plastic tents. Monsoon season is approaching fast. Everybody here is concerned about rain. They are eager to build shelters that will help them to be more comfortable during the rainy season.
Although roofing material may not look like that much for those who lost everything, I know personally the zinc sheets for roofs are great help for them because at the moment that is their main concern.
Everywhere I go the experience is the same. Village after village homes have collapsed and many are just piles of rubble. Often it is hard to imaging where to begin. I arrived at the village of Itahiti with Nepalese monk Soma, who is my assistant, and the Nepalese nun Masukee. Meena guided us to this village. She is also one of the residents who lost her home and barely survived when her home collapsed. She was still limping and had great pains in her body.
Within two days we came back with a truckload of zinc sheets and pile of cash to help the people. On their request we also blessed the villagers who were experiencing emotional and physical difficulties. Sadness of loosing everything, fear of constant aftershocks and daily challenges of survival are so real and obvious all around. As monks, when are visiting them that gives them great comfort and people are happy to see monks. People are even happier when we assist them in whatever way we can.
Purchasing material, finding transportation and getting the material to these off-road remote villagers, getting the community organized and making sure that it all goes smoothly are often challenging tasks. But we are able to manage everything and do it right with the help of Bina. She was admirably efficient, hard working and a skillful manager.
Most of the funds for this project came from our humanitarian fund in the Czech Republic and the financial assistance of Melnik City Counsel. I am grateful to everybody who is involved. Thank you.