Eighteen months on from the devastating earthquakes in Nepal, which claimed nearly 9,000 lives and left 3.5 million homeless, efforts to repair the physical and emotional damage continue.
Perhaps best known for its smiling Sherpas and mountaineering, Nepal is actually the poorest country in South Asia with one in four young children in the workforce and an average life span of only 54 years. And that was before the 2015 earthquakes.
‘The damage to this beautiful country is profound,’ said Crystal Castle’s founder Naren King.
‘Far from being out of the woods, thousands are still homeless, schools are yet to be rebuilt and many remote villages are cut off because roads have not been repaired. We have seen first hand the sadness and despair and are hoping that our wonderful Byron community can help these people who are so in need yet are still, incredibly, smiling.’
Naren has organised benefit concert at Crystal Castle on October 29, headed by Emmy-winning singer-songwriter Toni Childs, with all proceeds going to help the Nepalese people.
Also gracing the Stupa Stage will be Sacred Earth, Australia’s top selling artists in the ambient music genre.
MC Nyck Jeans will also welcome Grammy-nominated Dave Stringer, with his blend of Indian mysticism, groove oriented gospel and Appalachian harmonies, Australia’s beat box extraordinaire Tom Thum and Tasmanian Celtic folk group Keystone Angel.
A similar event last year, together with online fundraising, netted $65,000 and organisers are hoping to at least match that figure again this year.
Three days after the concert Naren and Toby King along with Paulo Thiago from Tents to Nepal will return to Nepal, self-funded, to oversee support projects including rebuilding schools, a damaged Buddhist nunnery and Friends of the Himalayan Children.
They will also research areas of need as they trek through the Langtang region where two thirds of the community were lost to a giant landslide caused by the earthquakes.
‘Last year, thanks to the Byron community we raised over $65,000,’ Naren said.
‘With that we built shelters for hundreds, ran a medical camp, a child trauma program, did relief work with the Schechen Monastery monks, delivered hundreds of tents for temporary housing, aid centres and classrooms and supplied hundreds of jackets and quilts to remote villages before winter hit.
‘This year we aim to raise more as there so much work that desperately needs to be done’.
What: Rebuild Nepal Benefit Concert Saturday 29 October
Where: World Peace Stupa, Crystal Castle Mullumbimby.
When: 3:00pm to 9:00pm.
Tickets: $65.30 through oztix.com.au – all proceeds go to the cause.
Parking: There is absolutely no parking at the Crystal Castle for this event. Guests will be transported by free shuttle from the Mullumbimby High School, 9 Jubilee Avenue.
Refreshments: Available for purchase. NB: This is an alcohol free event. Please bring rugs to sit on.
More info: www.rebuildnepal.com.au