The student community at UBC Okanagan has joined hands to help Nepalese students deal with the earthquake disaster in their homeland.
On Sunday, May 3, 7:30 p.m., at Stuart Park in downtown Kelowna, the Nepalese Scholars’ Association, along with UBC students and staff will host a candlelight vigil to honour the thousands of people killed in last Sunday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake. (Note that earlier published press release indicated the vigil would take place Saturday but that has since been changed.)
“Our friends and families are in great pain and despair,” said Dinesh Adhikary, founding member of UBC Okanagan’s Nepalese Scholars’ Association. “We Nepalese students at UBC Okanagan are in great pain as well. Our immediate families are fine but our homes are in ruin and our families are out on the streets. But we Nepalese students have not lost hope. We believe, it is time to step forward and do the best we can to support our people.”
The candlelight vigil is meant to raise awareness about the devastation and loss of lives in Nepal, and at the same time launch a student-led fundraising campaign through the Red Cross.
Adhikary says people are welcome to bring cash donations to the event or donate to the Red Cross at: redcross.ca/UBCONEPSA.
Adhikary notes that with the federal government’s pledge to match — dollar-for-dollar — all eligible contributions to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund until May 25, a $10 donation can quickly turn into a $20 donation. The UBC Students’ Union Okanagan is also donating $1,500 to the earthquake relief effort.
Local politicians and UBC students, faculty and staff are invited to the vigil and Adhikary welcomes the public to participate. There will be a short speaking program, candle lighting, and a minute of silent prayer. Refreshments will be served.
The students aim to raise $40,000 in the next six months and support earthquake victims and their families in Gorkha district, where the worst destruction took place.
Donations can made to the website redcross.ca/UBCONEPSA.