Kokua—the Hawaiian word for “cooperation.” It’s a fitting description for a day dedicated to supporting earthquake relief in Nepal. The stories and images coming from our partners in Nepal show local youth joining together and organizing clean-up crews, food distribution, and the building of temporary shelters.
A 10 hour bus ride from Kathmandu then a 2 hour hike will take you to the village of Ambote, Nuwakot. Away from any main roads, Ambote received no assistance from the government or NGOs after the earthquake. And Ambote was hit hard. Most of the homes collapsed or became unlivable, the rice mill was destroyed, and there were no medical supplies. Through social networking, those with friends and family in Ambote were able to coordinate with individuals in Hawai’i, New York, London and Kathmandu to arrange for supplies AND a medical team to reach to Ambote. All of this was done without government aid and without the structural support of professional aid agencies. It was ordinary people who cared. It was Kokua.
The Society of Nepalese in Hawai’i (SNEHA), with about 150 members, has already raised over $60,000 for relief! Nepal will need much much more than this to rebuild, however. Estimates put the total cost of rebuilding at $5 billion.
FVIN is honored to be one of the beneficiaries of tonight’s Kokua Nepal benefit concert in Honolulu. Over 50 local artists will be performing in support of Nepal. Tickets can be purchased at www.kokuanepal.org. It will be live streamed on Olelo Community Media.
Watch a video message from our friends at VIN: