A village in Nepal, devastated by last April’s earthquake, is being rebuilt, thanks in part to the fundraising efforts of Pomegranate Catering, a catering service under the kosher supervision of Congregation Beth Shalom.
Last June, Pomegranate held a traditional Nepali dinner of rice, lentils, curry and green vegetables at Beth Shalom, raising $8,300 to rebuild the village of Golche, where the family of Prashant Lama still resides. Lama has been working at Pomegranate, catering events for the Jewish community and at a kosher kiosk at Carnegie Mellon University since he arrived in the United States a little over two years ago.
The money raised by Pomegranate was added to additional funds collected at a dinner hosted by Lama’s father-in-law for a total of $27,000.
Those funds have gone a long way to help rebuild Golche, Lama said.
Lama traveled to Nepal in early September for a seven-week stay, during which he not only helped rebuild facilities, but also gave $60 stipends to individual families that had lost so much in the earthquake, he said.
The villagers decided to allocate the bulk of the funds — $20,000 — to rebuild their schools.
The visit to Nepal was Lama’s first time back home since he moved to the U.S.
More than eight months following the earthquake, Nepal is still struggling to rebuild because of a blockade imposed by India that has closed the border preventing Nepal from importing necessary supplies including fuel, cooking gas and medicine creating a humanitarian crisis, according to Lama.
“I’m so happy that I can help my village,” he said. “I’m so proud of myself.”
Toby Tabachnick can be reached at email@example.com.