Most Worshipful Brother Eddie M. Guevara personally extends the deepest appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to the eighteen Lodges
(810a, 819, 821, 822, 828, 838, 860, 882, 897, 916, 935,963, 1026, 1049, 1059, 1064, 1063, and 1069)
for the outpouring of overwhelming support extended to the ACGL appeal for support of the tragic victims of the Nepalese Earthquake.
Thank you again for your tremendous support and generous combined donations totaling 7,299.09 Euros.
It is a catastrophe of an enormous dimension: multiple heavy earthquakes starting on April 25, 2015, claimed around ten thousand lives, even more casualties, and unbelievable destruction as far as the eye could see. Many months after the earthquakes buildings were still collapsing, people getting hurt and starvation was widespread. The first epicenter was 50 miles west of Nepal's capital Kathmandu, further shakings were felt until June in regions close to the Chinese border in a town named 'Namche Bazar'. The temblors are described as the most terrible catastrophe in Nepal's history. The region of Namche Bazar is a poor rural area where a small non-government organization (NGO) from Marktoberdorf in southern Germany, called 'Nepalhilfe Allgäu', has been collecting donations over the last couple of years, providing development help, humanitarian help, school building projects, and godparenthood in order to support children of sherpa mountaineers who died in accidents. Having had heavy quakes in that very region, this very organization founded by Tshering Guggemos, a Nepalese deriving from Namche Bazar and married to a German, received an entirely new significance. Helping those, who have been poor and lacking good education, now became a new paramount relevance. A school that Guggemos built before the catastrophe now needs repairs and new teachers have to be acquired and paid. Another Bavarian NGO that came to help within days after the first earthquake with doctors, nurses, food, shelter, and equipment was 'Humedica' from Kaufbeuren, Germany.
A few days after the first tremors, the United Grand Lodges of Germany (VGLvD) appealed for a charity collection for those in need in Nepal. Thus, the Grand Master of the American Canadian Grand Lodge, Most Worshipful Brother Eddie M. Guevara, called all of our Lodges for contributions. Meanwhile, I took part in the decision-making process within the VGLvD charity foundation (Freimaurerisches Hilfswerk) where we discussed all the details like how and where to distribute the donations. Being familiar with and active in charity organizations, I suggested splitting up the collection and donating it to smaller definite programs in order to provide more impact. We decided to divide the money into the respective Grand Lodges and let them decide which charity to donate to. For instance, the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany, donated their share to a Gurkha foundation having charity projects for the needy Nepalese.
Our Grand Treasurer, Most Worshipful Brother Paul M. Curran, received a total of a little over 7000 Euros from 19 Lodges. Since our Grand Lodge is rather small within the Brotherly chain of the VGLvD, the charity foundation decided to double up the sum for our designated charity, so in the end, I was able to hand over a donation in the name of the ACGL at the sum of 14,000 Euros. Knowing that the two above mentioned organizations have been involved in local aid programs in Nepal and being confident in their integrity, I chose to donate our share to Humedica and Nepalhilfe Allgäu.
Picture: Ms. Heinke Rauscher taking delivery of the check (Foto: humedica)
The first check of 7000 Euros was handed over to Humedica Foundation on January 14th, 2016. Steffen Richter, head of the communication department and spokesman of the organization, greeted me upon my arrival and gave me a brief tour through the administration building, depots, history of that institution, and their current activities. Humedica is currently highly involved in the reconstruction of Nepal and supplying medical services in the affected regions.
Picture: Ms. Tschering Guggemos receiving the second check (Foto: Guggemos)
On January 16th, 2016 I turned over the other 7000 Euro check to Ms. Tshering Guggemos, CEO of the Nepalhilfe Allgäu. Our donation will help this small NGO to reconstruct and extend the school of Namche Bazar, acquire educational material, and provide teachers.
If you are interested in further information on their current activities, see some impressing
photographs or feel the urge to continue your support, here are the two organizations' web
Fulfilling my tasks on this agenda, I represented all Brothers from our Grand Lodge and so those organization's gratitude goes back to all of you who donated. This contribution to the desperate victims in Nepal shows once again the willingness to help those in need from all of you Brothers and I am proud to be a part of ACGL and the worldwide Fraternity. Thank you again for your generous donations! I will try to stay in touch with the Nepal Project Coordinators of these two organizations and keep you posted on any updates.