Dear Friends,

I would like to formally thank you for your recent generosity in supporting the earthquake affected communities in Nepal. During my recent visit to Nepal, I witnessed firsthand the devastation of the 2015 earthquakes. Despite the challenges with transportation, resources, and government, Nepal has made positive strides in rebuilding over the last year. During my stay, Sunil introduced me to his team at Conscious Impact and showed me the relief efforts and strategy in the village Takure.

Takure is located approximately 200 kilometers north of Kathmandu. What in the western world is an easy distance for an hour or two drive, 200 km in Nepal is a challenging 4 hour white knuckling motorcycle ride, twisting through hills, valleys, rivers, and rock slides. The village is home to 220 families, mostly subsistence level farmers. A full year after the first earthquake hit, there are no freestanding buildings, and no operational school.

Conscious Impact has pioneered a brick making technique that utilizes readily available resources. Each brick is made of 70% soil, 20% sand, 9% cement, and water. Depending on the complexity of the brick design, the site produces 100-300 bricks a day, with each brick taking 40 days to fully mature. The villagers have embraced the concept and welcomed the volunteers; a recent community brick making demonstration saw three times the expected number of local participants.

Your recent donations have been given directly to this community. The bricks are being used to rebuild two schools, the Upper School with 95 students and the Lower School with 65 students. Annual tuition at each school is approximately $110 per year, and your gift will help offset this cost for families in need. Here are some photos from the project:

I witnessed first hand the friendliness, receptivity, and warmth of the villagers, and I share their gratitude. On behalf of Santosh, Sunil, and the Takure community, thank you again for your kindness.

With deep gratitude,

Tom

Nepal-Heart-Small

March 3, 2016

Dear Friends,

I write with an update about Yoga for Nepal donations, as well as Sunil’s work over the past six months.

Among other things, Sunil has been involved with the construction of a new school in Takure village, Sindhupalchok, which has directly benefited children and the community. Here are some photos from the project:

In an effort to continue assisting Sunil’s good work with Nepal, we are also planning two new Yoga for Nepal Benefit Classes on March 8 and 12 (details above). Join us!

Thank you, as always, for your deeply moving and generous donations to Yoga for Nepal.

With deep gratitude,

Santosh

Nepal-Heart-Small

June 30, 2015

Dear Friends,

I write with an update about Yoga for Nepal donations.

We have chosen to donate the full sum of our collection to the organization, Clean Up Nepal, an NGO working directly on the ground in Nepal. You can read more about their work here: http://cleanupnepal.org.np/. Your generous donations will be used to build temporary shelters as well as sanitary latrines for affected schools in remote areas. I feel confident that the mission of this organization is aligned with the goals of both immediate relief and sustainable growth for Nepal.

Once again, I would like to thank you for your deeply moving and generous donations to Yoga for Nepal. I continue to be amazed by the strength of our Om Namo community, and I am humbled by your compassion and generosity.

With deep gratitude,

Santosh

Nepal-Heart-Small

May 22, 2015

Dear Friends,

I write with gratitude and appreciation for your kindness and generosity during our YOGA FOR NEPAL fundraiser. So many of you reached out to me personally and so many others honored us with your presence. I am deeply moved by your donations, participation, and advice. Thank you for joining me, and the Om Namo team, in our efforts to bring some small amount of relief to the people of Nepal. I feel humbled by the magnitude of this tragedy and the limits of what any one individual can do to make a difference, but with your help we are collectively able to more than I could have imagined.

I am very pleased to announce that we collected $5328.94 from yoga classes, merchandise, and donations during May 10-17.

With the help of my brother, Sunil, who plans to volunteer on the ground in Nepal, I am continuing to explore various avenues of assistance for survivors of the earthquake. Sunil and I are working on identifying organizations that will most efficiently and responsibly use our donations in the following ways:

$1000 for much needed sanitary pads for women
$2700 for temporary housing, which will build approximately ten houses
$1600 for the family support for education and sustainability

We are trying our best to be thoughtful about the people who have been hit hardest by this tragedy – particularly women and children – and want to use your generous donations in ways that will help Nepal both now and in the future.

I am inspired by your participation in YOGA FOR NEPAL and will continue to work toward sound charitable solutions so that your donations are put to the best possible use. I will continue to send these updates as we move forward. As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback at santosh@omnamocenter.com.

With deep gratitude,

Santosh

Nepal-Heart-Small

May 7, 2015

Dear Friends,

I am writing in the wake of Nepal’s devastating earthquake both to express gratitude and request your help.

First, let me thank you. Many members of the Om Namo community have reached out over the past week to provide comfort and support to my family and me, and to ask how they can help with relief and rebuilding efforts in Nepal. I am inspired as much by this genuine concern from our Om Namo community as I am by my deep desire to help rebuild my home country.

I am grateful that the members of my immediate family are safe and that their homes are standing. However, as we know, tens of thousands of people did not fare as well and the aftermath of the earthquake finds people homeless, hungry, injured, and traumatized. My heart aches for all Nepalis, who have seen their homeland wrecked by an act of nature far beyond their control.

As you may know, the Nepali government has been criticized in recent days for its insistence on channeling aid money through the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund and for maintaining tight pre-disaster controls on customs. I share the concerns of many that the government is not doing everything it can do in the best interests of its people. For that reason, I hesitate to send money or goods to Nepal that will be routed through the government.

In addition, it is my hope that aid will not simply achieve short term relief, but also bolster long-term rebuilding efforts. I believe it is important to know that money will be held and distributed after the immediate crisis dissipates. Nepal will need continual assistance in the years to come.

I am currently communicating with my contacts in Nepal to determine the best ways to provide direct, sustainable assistance to people on the ground – particularly women and children, who are especially vulnerable after this disaster. In the meantime, we are beginning a fundraising campaign through Om Namo. I am writing to ask that you participate in whatever way you can.

The proceeds from ALL YOGA CLASSES AND MERCHANDISE collected during the week of May 10-17 will be directly donated to disaster relief efforts in Nepal.

This includes both public yoga as well as my private classes. Yoga classes will be donation-based; you can pay the standard rate or use your package, or you can choose to donate more to the cause. You may also make donations directly to Om Namo Center.

In the coming weeks, we will keep donors apprised of our plans for the money via email and social media. We also welcome any advice or input. This is a collaborative process and the only important outcome is relief and assistance to the people of Nepal.

Please do not hesitate to email (santosh@omnamocenter.com) or call (617-868-0756) me with questions, concerns, or suggestions. I am grateful for your support now, as always.

With deep gratitude,

Santosh

Nepal-Heart-Small

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