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UW Students from Nepal Raise Funds for Earthquake Relief

April 30, 2015
students outside lighting candles on the ground
UW students from Nepal light candles for earthquake victims during a vigil at UW earlier this week. (UW Photo)

Members of Friends of Nepal at the University of Wyoming (FNUW) recently established a fund to help those in need following last Saturday’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that has killed more than 5,000 people, injured thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

The student organization has set up an online account to raise money for relief efforts. Those who wish to donate can do so at

Another fundraising effort will take place Saturday, May 2. FNUW members will be at Wal-Mart in Laramie from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. to collect monetary donations to aid with disaster relief.

Sujan Dhakal, FNUW president, says that some Nepali students will travel to Nepal in May to help victims.

“They will coordinate with the local organizations to support victims,” Dhakal says. “They will spend the money based on the current needs -- most likely for food and temporary shelter for homeless people in the most affected areas.”

Currently, 36 Nepali students are enrolled at UW, and five students have been admitted for the summer or fall terms, says Maria Almendares, immigration coordinator in the office of International Students and Scholars (ISS).

Dhakal says the Nepali students’ families and friends in Nepal are safe, and the students have been in contact with them by social media and phone.

Through multiple emails and Facebook posts, ISS staff members have offered support to students and provided information about services that are available through the University Counseling Center and the Dean of Students Office.

“It is important that they email, call or come to our office to discuss any difficulties they are experiencing so that we can assist them in contacting the appropriate people to help them,” Almendares says. “We are here to listen and care for them and their families, as they are part of our family here at UW.” 

To add to students’ concerns, finals and the end of the semester are approaching. Almendares says her office encourages students to talk with their instructors and academic advisers about their situations so that they can work together to help complete the semester successfully.

“We want to say ‘thank you’ to those who are donating and supporting us in a very difficult time,” Dhakal says.

He adds, “Pray for Nepal and hope for the better.”

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