Our newest team member, Anastasia Valentine explains why she decided to come join us a marketing strategist.
On April 25, 2015 a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. It was followed by another measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale on May 12th. It made the headlines, people were moved, motivated and it was discussed at great length in coffee shops, at the water cooler, online and everywhere….for a while.
“Making the connection…”
As a PR person, I know not everything that is newsworthy stays in the headlines. In fact, the majority of happenings get their 15 mins max then make way for the next shiny thing. If the headlines are big enough, in a few months there will be a follow-up ‘what is happening now‘ story. If it was a really big story, there would be some mentions of it on it’s anniversary a year later. We can be assured the devastation of the earthquakes in Nepal will be revisited and in the news in April 2016.
The only way situations like this get the visibility they need is when people, whether they be down the mountain, across the country or on the other side of the globe make a connection. Last year I made that connection when my dear friend Natasha heard the news about the earthquake, and immediately spent the next 48 hours trying to locate her loved ones in the village she lived in for 2 years. All she wanted to know was that people were safe and accounted for.
“I felt compelled to do something. I needed to help.”
I imagined myself in that situation. Wondering ‘Where are my loved ones? Are they physically ok? How are their loved ones? What about their homes? What about their hearts? My friend hurt for her loved ones in Nepal. If she hurt, I hurt. And there, my friends, is where I made my connection. As I learned more about the village in Rainaskot and began to hear about the challenges in bringing in relief supplies, not to mention the long road ahead to rebuild, I felt compelled to do something. I needed to help.
People asked me why help someone an entire world away when there are people who need help in your own backyard? My response is twofold and very simple. I help, everywhere I can and don’t need to broadcast every time I do. Secondly, I like to think of all of us as a bigger, more extended and connected unit. It’s about HUMANITY, not about geography. We are all connected. Your sister is my sister. Your brother my brother and so on.
“It’s about HUMANITY, not about geography.”
What started as an effort to bring in relief supplies with only $100 has grown into a much bigger project that has an even bigger and more positive impact. Our goal is to Rebuild Communities, Lives, and Homes – One Village at a Time. And so, Fund for Lamjung was founded, and I agreed to come on as a strategic advisor to the fund.
There have been some challenges with fuel shortages, embargoes, and politics that are beyond our control, but within our collective abilities, we work around and through these challenges. Currently, Fund for Lamjung has 5 homes under construction with a goal of having the community of Rainaskot, Nepal rebuilt by April 25th.