Reynolds parent Sushma Rizal

Reynolds parent Sushma Rizal

Reynolds cooks earthquake fundraiser for Nepal

A buffet of traditional Nepalese food fed Reynolds secondary teachers and more on Tuesday (May 27)

A buffet of traditional Nepalese food fed Reynolds secondary teachers and more on Tuesday (May 27) as part of the school’s recent fundraising campaign toward earthquake relief in Nepal.

Grade 11 Reynolds student Eliza Rizal’s mother Sushma grew up in Lumbini, Nepal, where her mom and extended family reside today. The family felt the devastating 7.8 magnitude quake on April 25 and 7.3 quake on May 12. Fortunately, Lumbini escaped the terrifying damage which killed more than 8,500 people and forced hundreds of thousands out of their homes.

The Rizals partnered with Reynolds counsellor Heather Benson to cook an array of lush dishes and curries, including a daal, chicken tikka masala, papadam, vegetable biryani and several other meals.

“We are doing what we can to help,” said Eliza, who enjoyed a four-month visit to Nepal in 2010. Through the lunch, a bake sale and raffle, Benson said the recent campaign was approaching $1,000. All the money raised will go to the Canadian Red Cross committee and to SOS Children.

“SOS Children’s work is crucial because trafficking is a real issue in Nepal, where women and children are kidnapped and taken to India,” Benson said.

There have been reports of children in need being abducted by people posing as aid workers, convincing the parents the children will be given proper care.

Instead they end up in factories or worse, in the sex trade. United Nations estimates 15,000 women and children from Nepal end up in poor working conditions or the sex trade every year.

A U.N. release from earlier this month said that among millions of people affected by the earthquakes, approximately 126,000 are pregnant women, 21,000 of whom will need obstetric care in the coming three months. As well, approximately 40,000 women are at immediate risk of sexual and gender-based violence.

“We wanted to support putting children, girls and women into healthy, safe homes,” Benson said.

reporter@saanichnews.com