An Ellon Rotarian with close links to Nepal is helping to organise local aid for the earthquake-ravaged country.
Hilary Gordon described the images still emerging from the disaster as “tragic”.
We were there just a year ago and it is hard to take in that something like this has happenedHilary Gordon Ellon Rotary Club
She was honoured by Rotary International earlier this year for her work in education and literacy with First Steps Himalaya (FSH).
A year ago Hilary, with a group of other educational specialists from District 1010 Scotland North, travelled to Nepal using a Rotary Global Grant to fund a vocational training team.
Its aim was to improve the skills of local teachers which would then raise educational standards in the classroom.
Hilary, a retired head teacher, is now involved in efforts in Ellon and the surrounding area to raise money for the stricken country.
A Rotary collection at Costcutter’s store in the town on Saturday raised £544.
She told the Times; “What has happened in Nepal is so tragic.
“One of the houses we stayed in was with a head teacher and his family. It has been ruined, but thankfully they are safe although they are living in a tent.
“We were there just a year ago and it is hard to take in that something like this has happened.”
Hilary added that a glimmer of hope for FSH is that an earthquake-proof training centre, completed just before the quake struck, remains intact.
Hilary’s team trained teachers to work in Sindhupalchock, one of the worst affected areas.
The International Federation of the Red Cross said that one of its teams which had returned from Chautara, in Sindhupalchok district, reported that 90% of the homes have been destroyed.
A FSH spokesperson said: “Due to the incredibly frustrating delays of major aid organisations trying to get into rural Nepal, it is individuals and small organisations like ours,that have been working around the clock getting help to the villagers living in appalling conditions, and in desperate need of food.
“We are spending whatever funds are needed right now on basic aid, and know that every item is being delivered by hand to the people in the villages.”