As many of you will know, Harewood has strong connections with the Himalayan region, and in particular Nepal and Bhutan. These links run through our Himalayan Garden, our Buddhist Stupa, rare species in the Bird Garden and most importantly our Nepali staff, who work for Harewood House Trust and the Harewood Estate. We have received many messages from those of you who are concerned about our team. Below is a letter from our Chief Executive, himself a former Gurkha, on the current situation in Nepal.
We have received so many messages expressing sadness about the terrible tragedy unfolding in Nepal. First and foremost, the families of our Gurkha team here at Harewood are all safe and well, thank goodness.
In Kathmandu, you will have seen the terrible devastation in the old parts of the city which is where most of the casualties have occurred. Many of the ancient monuments, temples and structures in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur have been very badly damaged and some, totally destroyed.
There is still little news from the outlying regions, as communications have been very severely disrupted and physical access by all but foot and helicopter, is impossible. It will become clearer over the next few days as rescue teams reach these areas.
One blessing was the fact that the quake struck on a Saturday at midday, a public holiday, and all schools were shut, all public buildings were closed and a large number of people were out working in the fields.
How to donate:
Many of you have asked what to do and to whom you can/should donate. There are two very reliable and responsible options which will deliver a well-coordinated response, where it is most needed. These are below:
Disaster Emergency Committee: www.dec.org.uk
And also through the Gurkha Welfare Trust: www.gwt.org.uk
The Gurkha Welfare Trust was set up many years ago to look after the welfare of our ex-servicemen and has a terrific network in the hills of Nepal. As a result of this disaster, they have opened their doors to everyone and their good medical facilities are available to many locals, not just our ex-servicemen.
Thank you all once again for your offers of support and prayers for our staff and their families.
Best wishes and thank you again.
C A USSHER
Chief Executive, Harewood House Trust
Resident Agent, Harewood Estate