The Soarway Mission – Engage Nepal
The earth roared, the mountain fell, and the village was gone. Not damaged, not devastated…totally gone. Disappeared -- as though it had never been, and with it the lives of most of those who lived there, men and women, children and grandchildren, their cows and goats and their donkeys. All gone. And not just one village…many. A scene repeated across Nepal. And not a few lives lost, but over eight thousand, with tens of thousands injured and over two million people left homeless – most of whom remain at risk today.
The earthquakes that rocked Nepal in April and May of 2015 were devastating and frightening and captured the international community’s attention for a moment in time but then the next headline came, the next disaster struck, and the world moved on. But the Soarway Foundation did not. Soarway was created, just days before the earthquake struck, with a mission of disaster risk reduction and preparedness in Nepal because we knew that a disaster such as the one we subsequently witnessed was inevitable. And today we remain committed not only to preparing for the next quake – and there is no question that there is worse to come – but to a continued response to the overwhelming need of those whose lives were forever changed by the events of 2015.
At Soarway we also believe that it is as important to restore the spirit of the nation as it is to rebuild its infrastructure. The temples and shrines and monasteries that were damaged and destroyed by nature’s upheaval were the embodiment of Hindu and Buddhist faith traditions that are as intrinsic to the life of the people of Nepal as the towering Himalayas that majestically remind them of their deep connection to the natural world with which they live in such a delicate balance. Soarway is as committed to the restoration of those iconic buildings as we are to constructing homes that will keep people safe, schools that will be earthquake resistant and protect young lives, and medical facilities that will save lives every day. It’s all part of Nepal’s story.
Finally, Soarway believes that working in partnership with the people of Nepal we can help create a more resilient nation, preserve a culture that is a treasure for the world, and help make Nepal’s inspiring natural beauty once again accessible to all. That is the Soarway mission and we are confident that, in pursuing it, we can help shape a future that Nepalis will face with confidence rather than fear.
Our founder, Michael Kobold, followed the path of adventure to Nepal, summiting Mount Everest twice. On his journey he was captured by the beauty of the land and the spirit of the Sherpas who joined him on his endeavors. Our Executive Director, Ambassador (ret’d) Scott DeLisi came to Nepal first in 1982, early in his 34-year career in the diplomatic service, and again later in the same decade when served as the State Department’s desk officer for Nepal. Like Michael Kobold, Nepal’s spirit touched him deeply, as did the graciousness and gentleness of the Nepali people, and he was thrilled to return in 2010 to serve as American Ambassador to Nepal. For them, and for so many others supporting Soarway, there is something magical about Nepal that inspires our commitment to its very special people.
We are fortunate if we find in our lives something to feel passionately about and if, in pursuing that passion, we can do good, touch lives, and build a better world, we are fortunate indeed. At Soarway, we are fortunate, for Nepal is our passion and we know we can make a difference.
Although Nepal may be one of the poorest countries in the world it is rich in spirit, in the strength of its people, and in the love that so many have for this mountain nation nestled in the Himalayas. We hope you’ll want to be part of our quest to assist the people of Nepal to help themselves before the next disaster strikes. Together we can build a new future for Nepal. Join us!