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As part of a fundraiser spearheaded by the Antigonish Friends of Nepal, eateries will be encouraging diners to make in person or online contributions to the country.”Nepalis need more than our prayers; they need our support to rebuild their lives and livelihoods,” Olga Gladkikh, a group member, said in an email interview.Nepal has been struck by two major quakes in just more than two weeks; one April 25, which measured 7.8 on Richter scale, with the second at 7.3 on May 12.Antigonish Friends of Nepal initiated its relief effort after the first quake, with people having ties to the country coming together to help out.Along with the May 15 restaurant collection drive, the group has placed donation boxes in local businesses and churches (until May 22), with funds collected donated to the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund.”We hope that people will pause for a moment to reflect on how much we have and then pick up their smartphones or tablets and give online,” group member Nancy Peters said of the May 15 event.She noted the United Nations has called for $415 million for “immediate relief” but only a fraction has been pledged.”Each table of diners will also receive a postcard with a picture from Nepal and information about how to donate on the back,” Peters said.”We’d be delighted if people would pass these postcards on to friends, or post it at work.”Gladkikh said her connection with Nepal dates back to 1990, when she began visiting graduates in her role with the Coady International Institute.”Over the next six years I returned to witness the impact on the people of the country’s transition from monarchy to multi party democracy,” she added.Gladkikh worked with several organizations.”I have lingering friendships that grew out of that period,” she noted.Gladkikh said Coady graduates are “dedicated to making a real difference in the lived lives of Nepalis and the sacrifices they make just to reach the remote mountain villages they work in, where the challenges are many.””How many people do you know who would be willing to trek for three days just to reach their working area from home?”Gladkikh said many graduates have let Coady know they survived the quake.”Even those who have lost everything are out volunteering their services or mobilizing to get aid to those remote villages where they have established relationships with the villagers,” she added.Janette Fecteau, an Antigonish Friends of Nepal member, has been there twice, spending six to eight weeks both times.”I went there basically as a tourist, but I was fortunate to come from Antigonish where we have the Coady International Institute,” she wrote in an email, noting through Coady she met many development workers from Nepal.”I was able to visit several wonderful people in their homes and workplaces, meet their families and co workers, which brought me to places most tourists don’t visit.”I was struck by how hard people worked with what to my Western eyes looked like 18th century technology,” she added.On her first day in Kathmandu, Fecteau recalled seeing two men sawing metal pipe patiently using a two person hacksaw.Fecteau said it was apparent the people “cared deeply about improving the lives of the poorest and most disadvantaged.””They applied the same patience and dedication to their work in literacy, health, women’s groups, etc. That the famers did to their work,” she added.Fecteau knew she, Gladkikh, Peters and others, had mutual Nepali friends.”I reached out to find out if they had heard from them. Once the group of us started comparing notes, we quickly decided we wanted to do something to help,” she added.Fecteau hasn’t heard from several friends, which she said is “really nerve wracking.””Those I have heard from are busy working with earthquake victims, so they have not had time to write long emails.