Whether one lives in Nepal or far away in a different continents like in the United States of America, it does not make any difference to the persons who want to support people in times of crisis and disaster.
Although Nepal and United States are geographically far, the relations at the people to people level deep. Although many diplomats come and go, some diplomats, who served in Nepal mission, always continue their relations with Nepal.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and the United States of America in 1947, American people have started to come to Nepal at official levels and an individual traveler. Nepal’s mountain terrain, people and culture attracted most of them.
Former US ambassador to Nepal Scott H. DeLisi, who retired from his service, is one of them. Established to support Nepal at the time of crisis, Engage Nepal has been making efforts to provide necessary help to Nepal. As an executive director, ambassador DeLisi is taking all efforts to reach to Nepal which is facing major challenges to fight against COVID-19.
At a time when Nepal’s frontline medical workers have been facing a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to fight against COVID-19, former ambassador of the United States to Nepal.
Through his Engage-Nepal, the ambassador is planning to provide Nepal 4000 PPE and 400 test kits. Even with such huge resources and medical expertise, the United States has been facing huge challenges. If the situation goes worse, Nepal’s health system will collapse and there will come an unimaginable situation.
“So far we have raised $1000 from our grassroots donors -- those of you who sustain us month-in and month-out. I am also taking funds from Engage Nepal’s limited reserves because, if ever there was a time to act, it is now. That resource, with some additional support from an institutional donor that recognizes the crisis we will face in Nepal, means we now at about 50% of our goal. That's about 2000 PPE kits and 200 tests we can provide. Our goal is 4000 PPE and 400 tests as our share of the partnership with the America Nepal Medical Foundation. We need another $10,000 and we will not give up until we find the resources.
“And then we must be prepared to move forward with community partners to mitigate the impact and respond to a crisis that will devastate the nation. There's so much to do. This is just the start.
The sad fact is that more are likely to die in Nepal in the coming months than died in the earthquakes five years ago. And that means our response needs to be on a par with how we acted after the earthquake. This IS a disaster. This IS a crisis. And we urgently need your help to save lives and preserve the future.”
We were created in March 2015, just weeks before Nepal suffered the ravages of two major earthquakes. At that time we were the Soarway Foundation and, although I was still the American Ambassador in Uganda at that point, the Foundation was committed to building on work that our nation did when I was Ambassador in Nepal to prepare for and mitigate the devastation of the major natural disaster that we knew was inevitable. I had gone to Nepal, you see, shortly after the horrific quake in Haiti in 2010 when over 200,000 died and the development timeline was set back decades.
“We responded with generosity and compassion. But if we truly care, the time to act isn’t after the quake strikes and thousands are dead…it is before the disaster when we can save some of those lives and preserve hope for the future. That is what I did as Ambassador, that was the original mission of the Foundation, and that is what we continue to do today…but there’s more.”
“When I retired in late 2015, and as the recovery in Nepal was moving forward I was asked to lead this effort. We had about $500 in the bank and lots of good intentions but no clear plan. But the people of Nepal are special. They touched my heart with their gentle compassion, their tolerance, their openness, and the incredible generosity despite facing grinding poverty. So I’ve done my best to help.”
“Today we operate under the name of Engage Nepal (as a subsidiary of the Soarway Foundation which is a 501 (c)(3) charity recognized by the IRS). We still advance the mission of risk reduction and preparedness but we also know that we need to do more than just build strong houses and safer schools. We need to strengthen communities helping them to be more resilient, and better able to weather the inevitable disasters that lie ahead. We need to help the most vulnerable in society so that they can better shape their own futures and determine how best to keep themselves and their families safe.”