Dear Friends of Room to Read,
After the news of Saturday's massive earthquake, we know many of you are concerned about the devastating situation in Nepal that has already resulted in the loss of more than 4,000 lives. Nepal is close to our hearts, as it is where Room to Read began working with rural communities 15 years ago. Thank you to everyone for your inquiries about our local staff and the children and communities we serve in Nepal.
We are relieved to let you know that 100% of our staff in Nepal are safe and accounted for. Our Kathmandu office and field offices are closed this week so that our staff can support their loved ones. Like thousands of others in Nepal, many of our colleagues remain living in the safety of rescue camps due to aftershocks; however, they are anxious to return home and contribute to their country's rebuilding efforts.
During natural disasters, those living in poverty are disproportionately affected, especially children. Right now, help is needed for the people of Nepal - first by providing critical emergency relief and then through repairing and reviving their communities and their lives. Room to Read is committed to rebuilding children's lives through education, an effort which will include supporting schools, teachers, and students, so they can return to their normal routines.
Room to Read has benefitted 965,000 children in Nepal by working with more than 3,700 communities through our Literacy Program and more than 3,000 girls through our Girls' Education Program. Many of our project sites are located in the Lamjung and Dhading Districts, which are two areas greatly affected by the earthquake. While we don't yet know the condition of our Literacy Program project sites or the impact on our Girls' Education Program participants in these remote communities, in the coming weeks and months, our team in Nepal will assess the damage to determine where our educational work is most needed. Towards that effort, we have set up the Nepal Education Fund that will ensure Room to Read can support children and teachers by helping to rebuild the educational system in Nepal.
Thank you again to each of you for your continued thoughts, prayers and support. We will continue to share updates as we learn more through our website and social media.
Dinesh, Erin, and John
Room to Read Co-founders