Caritas workers minister to earthquake victims

Development and Peace is assisting earthquake victims in Nepal through its partners in Caritas International, and has issued an urgent appeal for donations.
 (Photo dated April 27, courtesy of D&P)

In light of the immense tragedy of the April 24th earthquake in Nepal, the Canadian Bishops and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace are cooperating in a joint campaign to raise funds for the victims. Archbishop Smith is encouraging all parishes, schools and communities in the Archdiocese to organize special collections for Nepal, as one way to reach out to our suffering brothers and sisters.

He asks as well that we remember the victims in our prayer intentions at all masses this weekend.

The funds collected must be received by Development and Peace before May 25, in order to qualify for matching donations from the federal government. Donations made directly to Development and Peace should be marked “Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.” 

Caritas Nepal is providing tarps and tents to victims to protect themselves from the cold and rain: “What the people need immediately is shelter. Temperatures are dropping at night and there is also rain. Children are sleeping outside at night. It is really traumatic for them,” explained Father Pius Perumana, Director of Caritas Nepal.

Other urgent needs are water, food, sanitary facilities and hygiene items for the earthquake victims.

Father Pius Perumana added: “What I have seen is a lot of destruction. So many buildings collapsed and cracked. I saw a number of bodies on the street. People are still trapped in buildings and we don’t know whether they are dead or alive.”

Renuka Magdalene Thakuri found refuge with other families on the grounds of the Assumption Church in Kathmandu, where they are sleeping in tents: “We hope to go back to our house soon, but are hesitating because of the aftershocks. We feel safe in the church premises and thankful to Caritas Nepal for the tent. We have food and water, but shops and markets are closed.”

More information about the situation in Nepal and how we can help is available on the Development & Peace website.