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HOPE volunteer nurse, Sama Shrestha is volunteering in Nepal to help earthquake victims. Born in Kathmandu, this is Sama’s second trip to Nepal as a HOPE volunteer. Currently a nurse at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA., Sama immediately volunteered to return to Kathmandu with HOPE in order to help those in need.

Healing Starts at Home:  Helping Nepal Recover from Disaster

By Sama Shrestha

I was born in Nepal, a country in South Asia that boasts eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest. That’s quite impressive for a tiny landlocked country in the Himalayas.  My home was in Kathmandu, the nation’s capital and largest metropolis. I moved to the U.S. to study nursing in college, and, for the past seven years, I’ve been working as a medical surgical nurse at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA.  I love my work and my patients, and it was indeed one of my dear former patients who called my home early on April 25 to break the devastating news to me:  Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, killing more than 7,000 and injuring over 15,000 and there were some casualties in neighboring India, China and Bangladesh. It took a while for the initial shock to wear off and I was so thankful to hear that my family was unharmed.  I looked to Facebook, the news and the humanitarian world to see what I could to do help.  As a former Project HOPE volunteer in 2012 on the U.S. Air Force operation Pac Angel, I was happy and relieved to read on HOPE’s website and social media that they had an assessment team of disaster relief experts on the ground in Kathmandu within the first days of the disaster. And now, today, I am in Nepal with Project HOPE, triaging patients and assisting health professionals who are exhausted and overwhelmed by this tragedy. There is so much work to do here. People are afraid to seek care in hospitals fearing more tremors and damage to Nepal’s infrastructure.  Doctors are worried about the potential outbreak of disease, especially among children and other vulnerable people, who are suffering from a shortage of clean water, food and clean shelter. So, on behalf of my country, I am asking for your help. Please help Project HOPE deploy medical volunteers and ship medicines to Nepal. Whatever you can give to Project HOPE’s humanitarian mission in Nepal is so very much appreciated. Thank you.

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