Helping the Nepalese two years after earthquake
The devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 resulted in 8,881 reported deathsand about 18,000 injured.
Mercy Relief, a disaster relief agency based in Singapore, sent a relief team to administer aid within 48 hours.
On Tuesday (April 25), Mercy Relief marked the two-year anniversary of the earthquake by sharing with media the steps they have taken to aid the Nepalese over the past two years.
Ms Carol Liew, 29, senior manager of international programmes in Mercy Relief, said that when they arrived, it was chaos.
"All the shops were closed - there was no light, there was no power. It was pitch black," she said.
After distributing 1,000 shelter kits to a community perched on a hill, Ms Liew was travelling back with two companions when she was caught in the second earthquake that hit Nepal.
"It didn't register to me that there was an earthquake. But opposite the hill, there were houses toppling one by one."
After the initial response phase, follow-up efforts to aid recovery include building 690 transitional shelters to house about 3,450 people as well as building 29 transitional classrooms at 7 schools.
In November 2016, mitigation programmes were implemented, such as the reconstruction of 20 earthquake resilient classrooms across 3 schools, training locals in masonry skills to build earthquake resilient structures and creating a programme on a local radio station to spread information on surviving earthquakes.
"Whichever community we reach out to, we try to stay there a while. When you sow a seed, it takes time to grow," said Ms Liew.
Ms Zhang Tingjun, 35, executive director of Mercy Relief, commended the Nepalese response to the disaster.
"They were fighters. They weren't waiting for handouts," she said.
In observance of World Humanitarian Day on August 19, Mercy Relief is organising the 3rd installation of the Ground Zero Run in partnership with luxury watch retail group The Hour Glass, the official title sponsor.
Ground Zero Run will simulate the experience of a survivor collecting urgent supplies in the aftermath of a disaster. Runners carry relief packs as they run which will later be deposited on trucks and distributed to local communities in need.
Runners will receive a medal made from pressed volcanic ash from the Philippines and a tote bag made of recycled linen in support of Linens For Life programme.
Ground Zero Run will take place on August 13 2017 at Casuarina Grove in East Coast Park.
There is a 1km kids run, 5km non-competitive and 10 km competitive categories. Tickets start from $40.
For more information, visit www.groundzerorun.com