Monday, April 27, 2015

SHERPA ADVENTURE GEAR-Dispatch From Nepal

In our inbox...

Sherpa Adventure Gear Creates Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund on Crowdrise
100% of initial $30,000 goal will support immediate aid in remote villages

KENT, WASHINGTON, USA and KATHMANDU, NEPAL—April 28, 2015— Kathmandu-based outdoor apparel manufacturer Sherpa Adventure Gear has created an earthquake relief fund called “Help Sherpas Help Nepal” to support aid to remote villages affected by the disaster.  The fundraising appeal is on Crowdrise at https://www.crowdrise.com/helpsherpashelpnepal.

The company has committed to initially raising $30,000 through the campaign and 100% of the money raised will be dedicated to direct relief efforts thru Sherpa Adventure Gear’s existing network in villages, where the company underwrites the education of Sherpa children through its charitable Paldorje Education Fund. 

In a letter from Kathmandu announcing the fundraising effort, the Tashi Sherpa, founder and CEO of Sherpa Adventure Gear, wrote: 

Dear friends,

Thank you for your kind words following the devastating earthquake of April 25th.

As we gather our wits and resources to respond to this catastrophe, here’s how you can take action.

Please visit the Sherpa Adventure Gear site at https://www.crowdrise.com/helpsherpashelpnepal and make a donation.

100% of your funds will go for immediate relief on the ground through our Paldorje Education Fund network—already set up to benefit the children of Sherpa families in remote villages.

With each day, the death toll rises, along with the need for water, tents, and medicine.

We believe this is the wisest way to bring support where it does the most good, working through our contacts in each community.

This is not the kind of adventure anyone seeks, but we are determined to see it through, no matter how long it takes.

Thank you for standing with us and giving what you can.

Sincerely,

Tashi Sherpa and the Sherpa Family

Sherpa Adventure Gear has been inundated with concern, prayers and thoughts since the earthquake struck. The company and its facilities in the Kathmandu valley were spared the wrath of the earthquake, which has left thousands and counting dead and millions without shelter and basic necessities.

In an April 28th email from Kathmandu, Tashi wrote, “Today is the fourth day and it is apparent the situation on the ground level is dire and desperately worse than what the media can convey. Sitting here in the Sherpa building creates a disconnect and a false sense of security but one only has to go half a mile to know the harsh reality.”   
Sherpa and his colleagues are acting on the ground from Kathmandu to arrange for immediate supplies of tarps, water purifiers, sanitary supplies and more to be brought in from India by road. It has also appealed to its network of contacts in the greater subcontinent region to supply what they can in the way of urgently needed water, health and sanitation supplies and temporary shelter.
About the need in remote areas, Tashi wrote, “The village people are in desperate need of help now and later. The devastation in many areas is so complete that it will take years and years to recover and rebuild.”

“There is much we can do together to help,” he added. “We can reduce the pain of the present and help to ease the future for those who need to see hope.” 


First Dispatch...

To all our friends and well wishers.


Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and prayers.   We deeply appreciate that you would think of us and call us or write to us.   We are all fine and safe and adapting to our sudden and shocking circumstance as resolutely as we can.  In that itself, I count ourselves as being blessed to be alive and all together.   Our physical structures seem to have borne the brunt of the tremors well.

The Sherpa family spent a very sensitive first night on the ground floor, and today we are doing our stoic best to cope with the horrific and tragic earthquake that has taken a catastrophic toll on Nepal and its people.   The scale of what we are seeing so close is something I hope none of us ever suffer through.   A 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Saturday , fifty miles from Kathmandu has now inflicted death on more than 2000  victims across the nation and massive destruction in the valley The death toll rises by the hour.  We are now estimating the loss to cross over three thousand .  I spent a heartbreaking morning paying my respects to a broken down Manisha ( one of our long time employees ) and her husband who lost their only son Sunny, in the devastation that hit Bhaktapur,  and her old mother who is still missing in the collapsed rubble of an ancient township.   Phone and Internet  are patchy at best so we are speaking to someone who spoke to someone who can give us news of people we know,

We went round the city this evening.  Many monuments that stood the wear of time, are now lost forever.  The news on the radio says entire villages  have been destroyed.  The impact of this horrendous earthquake was even acutely felt  in our highest of mountains where the last  count of victims was more than 18 in another Avalanche on EVEREST.  Another April and another tale of a sorrowful spring.

Hospitals overflow with injury victims. Neighbouring  countries have swiftly flown in their search and rescue teams , medical units and help in all guises is pouring in but not fast enough I believe because there to be literally tens of thousands left homeless.

Makeshift Tent cities on every little space of green, on sidewalks,on soccer fields, evacuation lines at the airport that are impossible  miles long, Dust and debris amongst fallen towers and temples, teary eyed tourists desperately dragging their rollers and duffels looking for some way to get out, little children holding on to their dusty blankets trailing their parents , hectic ambulances screaming their sirens on empty streets are some of the images that will stay with me.  An eerie and restless energy presides over all of us this second evening but there is also a bit of becalming cheer  as Tseten whips up up gourmet spaghetti  from packet noodles for dinner.

To make matters scarier , after what appeared to be a diminishing scale of a series of aftershocks since the last twenty four hours we were tested by another severe tremor of 6.9 this afternoon.
The question on everyone's mind- is when will they stop .  At least we feel so much safer than so many,  We are all outside next to our own  building trying to settle down to some sort of predictable outcomes.

In the days to come, we will regroup and reexamine our agenda.  For now, Tseten and I just want to say thank you to those who reached out to us and for your kindness.  There is much we can do together to help and we will be making plans to see where best we can reduce the pain of the present and help to ease the future for those who need to see hope,

Best Regards

Tashi , Tseten and the Sherpa Family 

FYI: Sherpa Adventure Gear

"Small Brands Can Change the World"
Sherpa’s brand foot print may be small, but we like to think that our heart is big and whether we grow large or not, doesn’t matter, as long as we stay true to ourselves, to the Sherpa way. We are a bit different: We create, develop and manufacture over 85% of our products in Nepal, someday we hope to make it 100%. Manufacturing in Nepal is no easy hike and it would be so much easier to outsource to China or Vietnam –but there is much more at stake here. The reward for us comes not in the financials alone, but in seeing the magic of our vision come to life.