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Irish student volunteers in Nepal with Christian Aid

19 August 2015

More than 9,000 people were killed and more than 23,000 were injured following the massive earthquake and aftershock in Nepal.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the country on April 25 affected some 6.6 million people.

Despite an invitation from the Irish Embassy to return home at the time of the disaster, Irish student Sean Reynolds stayed back in Nepal for three months to help with the relief work on behalf of Christian Aid.

Tax of Life Report

Sean Reynolds in Nepal, pictured with the Head of the Disasters Emergency Committee, Salah Saeed. Credit: Sean Reynolds.

When 23 year old Trinity College student Sean Reynolds left his home in Dalkey to volunteer with a children's charity called The Umbrella Foundation he had no idea how much that decision would change the course of his life.

He arrived just days before Kathmandu was hit by a devastating earthquake and the charity explained they could no longer facilitate an overseas volunteer. Naturally his family were keen that he return home as quickly as possible but instead Sean set out to help with the clearance of rubble and sent off a few speculative emails to charities responding to the quake, including Christian Aid.

Deborah Doherty in Belfast responded to Sean's email and soon he was linked up to Yeeshu Shulka, Christian Aid's Emergency Officer and subsequently Sean spent the next three months in Sindupalchowk at the heart of Christian Aid's emergency response to the earthquake.

It was a steep learning curve and Sean soon became an invaluable part of the team.

When asked about the highlight of his time in Nepal, Sean said:

'The first month and a half was really tough, with complete devastation everywhere and we worked hard to respond to the immediate needs of food, water and shelter. Then one morning I woke up and saw the children walking along the road to school, the older children holding the hands of the younger children as they picked their way through the rubble.

'I saw the early growth of he seedlings as we had given the communities, new beginnings, new life. People had started to rebuild.'

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