Survivors raise an incredible €170,000
THE EIGHT Wexford people who survived the Nepal earthquake have raised a staggering €170,000 for the poverty-stricken Himalayan country.
The trekkers had vowed to raise as much as they could on their safe return and had set a target of €100,000, which was surpassed several weeks ago, but now it has been revealed that they have raised more than €170,000 for relief efforts in the country.
Riverchapel parish priest Fr. Tom Dalton was one of eight people from Wexford who had just landed in Nepal when the earthquake struck on April 25. The earthquake devastated large parts of the country, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
'We were very thankful that none of our group was harmed,' said Fr Dalton.
'We were also very conscious that we could leave but the people of Nepal, who had been so kind to us, were the ones who had to pick up the pieces. So we decided that we wanted to do something to help and we approached Trócaire and offered to support their appeal.'
Trócaire launched an emergency appeal for Nepal within hours of the disaster happening. Working through local partner organisations in Nepal, Trócaire has brought shelter, clean water and other vital aid to 220,000 people in Nepal.
The organisation's response has been greatly helped by fundraising efforts in Wexford, involving a variety of events and initiatives throughout the county.
Among the events held was a concert at the National Opera House and benefit nights held at Kelly's Hotel, Whites of Wexford and Tara Vie Hotel. Local schools also got behind the fundraising efforts, with bake sales held at Riverchapel National School and Gorey Community School, while St. Mary's National School held a non-uniform day to support the campaign. Several other events were held, including charity runs and a link-up with Apple Green petrol stations.
'When we started out we very optimistically hoped to raise €100,000,' said Fr Dalton, 'never in our wildest dreams did we think we would end up raising over €170,000. We have been astounded by people's generosity. People have been so good and have been very enthusiastic about supporting the various events that have been run to support the people of Nepal.
'We really want to thank everybody who attended an event or contributed to the efforts in any way. It is wonderful to hear about the great progress Trócaire is making in Nepal and it is very heartening to know that the people of Wexford have contributed in a significant way to this.'
Trócaire's focus for the first three months of the relief efforts was to get shelter to people before the monsoon season struck. It is now monsoon season in Nepal and once the rains clear Trócaire will move into a longer-term approach, building permanent, earthquake-resistant housing for people in Nepal. Trócaire's Fintan Maher has paid tribute to the various communities in Wexford who got behind the appeal and organised events to raise money. 'To raise over €170,000 in three months is a phenomenal achievement,' he said. 'Everybody involved deserves enormous credit.'