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Cold Weather Gear for Earthquake Survivors

by Peter Ikeda

In a joint effort to provide aid to earthquake stricken villagers and to bolster Nepal’s economy, Purnaa partnered with the American-based organization Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International (BMDMI), manufacturing 2,500 ponchos to distribute to the surrounding villages and impacted communities. The ponchos were designed in-house at Purnaa as a solution for the victims impacted during the harsh winter. An additional 300 ponchos were distributed through the Mukti Network thanks to generous donations from KICC and other private gifts and a further 300 ponchos were distributed by Mountain Child.

It’s been nine months since the devastating 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and the country is still feeling the effects of it. Combined with the impact of the blockade this winter, Nepal was hit especially hard in the past year. Many villagers are still without proper housing, fearful to start construction without government approval and aid. Consequently, many of the mountain villages have suffered deaths due to inadequate shelter from the freezing winter temperatures (read more about the situation here).

The 3,000-piece order kept all three Purnaa teams in operation, and added four temporary employees to assist in the final production of the ponchos. Not only did our teams feel a sense of nationalism and pride in their work but they were also inspired to work diligently, breaking our in-house production records and completing production a full 8 days ahead of schedule. “Knowing we were helping people in need inspired us to work harder and faster than ever,” commented several Purnaa employees. “And it was fun to do work really fast and well!”

The first batch of 700 ponchos were flown up 8,000 ft by helicopter to the village of Thulo Haku in Rasuwa, Nepal. The village here experienced 64 deaths from the earthquake and a loss of all structures. The ponchos were distributed among 250 families, totaling 1,470 people, and were well-received with grateful smiles and lifted spirits. Check out BMDMI’s pictures of the poncho delivery in action on their facebook page!

BMDMI is an organization designed to assist developing nations and provide medical and dental expertise through short and long-term trips abroad. Nepal is a recent addition to their two primary countries of service. Read more about the organization and follow their activities on their website.

We are happy to have partnered with BMDMI, Mukti, KICC and Mountain Child on this local relief project. It’s encouraging to see international organizations continue to help Nepal both with short-term aid and long-term employment solutions. Our partnership has helped Purnaa remain in business and empower our employees with full-time salaries and the knowledge that they are making a difference in their home country.

Thank you, BMDMI, Mukti, KICC and Mountain Child for your partnerships and for changing lives in Nepal!


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