The students, members of the Nepalese Student Association, spoke during a news conference Tuesday on Belknap Campus.
“So many people don’t have food and so many other basic needs,” said Hem Paudel, an English major who is president of the association. He urged members of the university community and beyond to give whatever they can – “even a dollar” to relief efforts.
Paudel and six other Nepalese students said their immediate families had not been physically harmed from the quake, which struck Saturday and had killed more than 5,000 people as of Tuesday.
Sarin Adhikari, an urban and public affairs major who grew up in Katmandu, Nepal’s capital, said the stress of getting information about families and friends has been nonstop, but it was some relief to find out hours after the earthquake that his family was living outside in a camp with neighbors.
“It’s a constant terror,” Adhikari said of the feeling he’s had since the earthquake. He said the UofL students were monitoring live feeds from the U.S. Geological Survey to keep up with aftershocks, then calling families after each one to make sure they were safe.
There are about a dozen students at UofL from Nepal.
UofL has an emergency fund available for students who may need to travel for a family crisis.
Adhikari said he and the other students had “already packed our bags” and were ready to go at a moment’s notice if they were needed.
Adhikari said he feels like crying each time he sees someone emerge from the rubble alive. Paudel, who had been a teacher in Katmandu, expressed concerned about the hundreds of students he had taught through the years.
“I hope and pray I won’t have to hear any bad news in the future,” Paudel said.
The students stressed that donations would be best put to use if they went to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the World Food Program.
- PayPal has set up a one-stop shop to support earthquake relief. Visit www.paypal.com and choose from several organizations.
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: http://www.ifrc.org/en/.
- World Food Programme: http://www.wfp.org/.