Fires Destroy Refugee Homes, Jesuit Youth Centers in Nepal
Tags: Jesuit, Jesuit Father Paramasivam Amalraj, Jesuit Refugee Service, jesuits, JRS, Nepal, Society of Jesus
Fires that swept through two U.N. camps in eastern Nepal on March 22 left up to 6,000 refugees from Bhutan homeless and burned down a health center and two Jesuit-run youth centers.
Jesuit Father Paramasivam Amalraj, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) field director for Nepal, said more than 500 huts were reduced to ashes in 90 minutes in the Goldhap camp. Fr. Amalraj said aid organizations such as Caritas Nepal and the Red Cross were working to provide relief assistance to the victims.
The JRS school, a permanent structure made of bricks, was not damaged and is now housing approximately 3,000 refugees.
“It was a heartbreaking sight. In the midst of smoldering homes and melted kitchen utensils, refugees were desperately rummaging through the rubble hoping to find their lost valuables. We have opened our schools as shelter to these people; it’s the least we can do. We don’t know when their homes will be rebuilt or when life will get back to normal,” said Amalraj. [Catholic News Service & JRS; photo by DB Dhakal/UNHCR]