A CHARITY volunteer from Wigan recently returned from Nepal has made an urgent plea for donations to help friends and colleagues back in the devastated country.
Upwards of 5,000 lives have already been lost after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Asian nation, with aid efforts struggling to reach remote areas.
Rebecca Marsh left Nepal last month after a 12 week assignment working with a development organisation that helps young people across the world.
The 24-year-old, from Orrell, is now concerned for the welfare of her host family and is calling on Wiganers to help earthquake relief appeals.
She said: “Aid is now reaching Kathmandu (the capital) but there is real concern about the more remote areas which are the least developed and have no infrastructure.
“The UK government has already given £5m so far in disaster relief, but Nepal is in a terrible state right now and this money will not go far.
“Facebook has launched a feature to people to ‘check in safe’ to let friends and family know they are okay. I have been in touch with colleagues but have had no contact with the host family I stayed with in Dolakha, one of eight districts most affected.
“I dread to think, what these villages must look like now, there was no infrastructure and most of the houses were mud-huts.”
Rebecca, a former Deanery High and Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts student, is now asking residents to take a look at the Facebook page help us help Nepal.
Speaking of her distress at hearing the news of the disaster, Rebecca said: “When I first read something about an earthquake, I did not think it was that serious as when I was over there I experienced a quake that lasted about four seconds.
“I was told it happens about two or three times a year so I thought it was only another minor one.
“It was only later that my mum rang me to say how extreme it had been and I saw the pictures on the news of the destruction.
“Straightaway I was on Facebook to check my friends were okay.”
She added: “The main concern for myself, and other Restless Development volunteers is that rural areas, outside of the epicentre and Kathmandu, may be completely overlooked.
“I am worried about the villages that we stayed in, not being reached, as they were already hard to access.”
Restless Development is launching a dedicated fund to help rebuild Nepalese villages.
Please use the following links to donate www.facebook.com/RestlessToHelpNepal and www.restlessdevelopment.org/nepal