The Book That’s Helping To Rebuild Nepal: The Country That Shook
When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on 25th April 2015, it made global headlines. The epicentre of the quake struck at Gorkha, but its effects impacted for miles, causing an avalanche on Mount Everest, destroying thousands of homes, and tearing down religious buildings in Kathmandu that were centuries old. More than 9000 people were killed, and hundreds of thousands made homeless. Following the earthquake, aftershocks took place regularly, including a major aftershock just two weeks later, which killed a further 200 people and injured 2500.
A backpacking friend of mine was in Nepal as this horrendous disaster occurred, and thankfully she was not affected directly. Her name is Sophie Maliphant, and following the earthquake, she went on to use her incredible graphic design skills to fuel a fundraising project that would help the country rebuild. Central to this was an illustrated children’s book, called ‘The Country That Shook’.
Any long-term travellers out there will appreciate that starting a fundraising project whilst on the road in Asia is no easy task. Sophie actually used the backs of plane tickets, maps, and recycled paper from guesthouse owners to bring her illustrations to life!
In Sophie’s own words, The Country That Shook “tells the story of a young girl, caught up in the catastrophe, who discovers the surprising cause of the quake and has to bravely stand up for her country to stop the shaking.”
The dream was to sell this creative and charming story to raise funds for those in Nepal who were literally rebuilding their lives.
Fast forward two years and The Country That Shook has raised £11,000! A successful Kickstarter campaign has ensured all production costs are covered and one hundred percent of the proceeds from sales go directly to Nepal. The products available have grown to include A2 prints and t-shirts.
What started as sketches on odd scraps of paper, has gone on to successfully fund the rebuilding of the Shree Barbot School in Solukhumbu; ensuring 199 children are getting an education in a safe environment.
So why am I sharing this story with you today?
Having visited Nepal just eight months after the disaster, I was completely taken aback by how little of the rebuilding work had taken place.
Standing in the centre of Durbar Square, in Kathmandu, I was surrounded by the rubble of once glorious temples. Those that still stood were propped up with wooden poles, like matchsticks precariously holding a crumbling stack of bricks. I felt helpless and humbled. Especially considering the Nepali people have such an amazing humility and positivity about them.
So, when Sophie recently shared a post to Facebook, reminding me that Nepal is still far from ‘fixed’, I knew I needed to write to my lovely readers and let you know that the opportunity to support one of the world’s poorest countries is very much available, and needed.
It may be two years since the earthquake struck, but a drop in tourism and other issues mean Nepal is still struggling to reconstruct safe homes, schools, and businesses.
If even one person reading this week’s post buys something from the online store of The Country That Shook, or makes a donation, it will make a difference (the prices are super cheap! Just £10/US$13/AU$17 for a book). Like I said, every single penny (or cent!) that you spend will go entirely to those that need it.
Plus, if you can’t afford to make a purchase right now, there are other ways you can show your support. Simply take a minute to head over to the official website (www.thecountrythatshook.com) to see how you could help.
Thank you so much in advance!
PS – If you skimmed this page and didn’t catch all the details, definitely click to watch this quick video that summarises everything I’ve said! 😉
Have you visited Nepal since the 2015 earthquake? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below, and please please share this post across social media – let’s spread the word!