The Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat of the Jesuit Curia in Rome


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Volunteers speak

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Nilo E. Tanalega, SJ - Missionary for Overseas Filipino Workers

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A Life of Commitment to the Social Apostolate in Venezuela. Interview with Fr. José Ignacio Arrieta

The Magis Ignite Africa Experience

Prayer at the "Summit" for Peace in Guatemala

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List of Narratives



Volunteers speak

Reechashree Dhungana

St. Xavier's College, Kathmandu

The devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on 25th April affected the lives of about 8 million Nepalese, leaving us with fear, tears and sorrows. But, it's said, "instead of cursing darkness, it's better to light a candle." So, instead of repenting over what's gone and what we've lost, we chose to reach out to the affected people and help them.With this objective, a team from St. Xavier's College, Maitighar, headed to Goldhunga today to help the locals that are affected by the massive earthquake.

As a group of 27 members, we, the students of St. Xavier's College Maitighar reached out to help the earthquake victims in Goldhunga. We were under the guidance of Sailendra Sah, the outreach coordinator of St. Xavier's College. We left for Goldhunga at 11 A.M. After we reached there, we divided into groups and helped the locals remove the rubble and clean up the mess. The villagers said they had been living in tents after the major earthquake on Saturday, 11:56 A.M. that destroyed everything they had and deprived them of their basic necessities. We, as a team, helped them remove the valuable assets they had inside their shattered houses. We were able to help them remove a few sacks of food grains and furniture they had inside. Further, we helped them pile up the bricks, the tin roofs and the windows and doors that were buried in the rubble.

Majority of the old houses in Goldhunga were destroyed, and the cemented houses were cracked. But, the villagers had already started compiling everything in the rubble that could be re-used later on. An old man who owned the devastated house where we'd been working said," I have buried my two cows that died due to the earthquake there in the fields. A man who lived next door was buried inside the rubble. His body was removed after three days. We have a very small village. But even within this small area, 9 of them are dead and hardly any house is safe."

"The earthquake took everything from us", the people say. But there's yet one thing they have that not even the most devastating earthquake could deprive them of. It's their impeccable sense of hospitality. The people there were reluctant about letting us go home without having any snacks. They pleaded us to have meals in their tents and expressed their heartfelt grief when we denied to have the snacks that they wanted to serve all of us.

One woman who lived there said- "It takes a lifetime to build a house and maintain a family and a few seconds to see all of it shattered and devastated. The earthquake has struck the entire country. It's not only us. There's nothing we can do about something that has already happened. . We pray that such a disaster never strikes anybody again".

While we returned from Goldhunga, we had mixed emotions- sorrow on seeing the destruction caused and happiness on being able to help them. But, it is the resilience, hospitality and generosity of the Nepalese that enables them to fight back against the deadliest of the terrors. And it's us, the unaffected Nepalese who can help our innocent brothers and sisters move past everything and help them shine again. We are with you and yes, TOGETHER WE CAN.