When Andrew Bovill found himself caught up in the horror of the Nepal earthquake in April, he didn’t jump on to the first plane out of there.
Instead Andrew, a parishioner at Drummaul, Duneane and Ballyscullion, extended his stay to help relief efforts in remote villages in some of the worst hit areas.
When family, friends and parishioners at home heard what the 28-year-old was doing, they organised a fundraising venture and sent £5,000 out to Nepal within days of the ‘quake.
Travelling home from Australia where he had been working for three years, civil engineer Andrew stopped in Nepal for a once in a lifetime trek to Annapurna Base Camp in the Himalayas.
After the trek, Andrew was walking in a street in Nepal’s second biggest city, Pokhara, when the earthquake struck on April 25.
“Although it was a surreal and frightening experience Pokhara sustained only minimal damage such as cracks in buildings, for this reason we underestimated the scale of this disaster at first,” Andrew said.
Andrew said the British Embassy was offering free flights home, but he felt Pokhara was the best place to be.
“I was in a restaurant when four Nepali guys sat beside me and started to talk about how they were gathering funds to buy supplies and get them to the badly affected Gorkha district. I felt I could trust these people so I gave them some cash. They were shocked and very thankful. They welcomed me into their group and we organized to meet up the following day to buy some supplies.”
This was to be the start of a partnership that would link not only Andrew and his new friends, but link the people of Nepal with the parishes of Drummaul, Duneane and Ballyscullion.
What the guys really needed was funding, I realized I could possibly be the middle man,” he said.
Andrew created the Facebook page ‘Earthquake Nepal Direct Action’ and brought this to the attention of people at home. Among the responses was the fundraiser at his parish church.
“This event which was totally down to my family and church members speaks volumes for the great little communities we have in our country,” he said.
After receiving so much financial support Andrew felt it was important to stay on to see exactly where the money went, only returning home after six weeks in Nepal to a warm welcome from his family and friends. - His Facebook page continues to highlight the plight of its people.