A family who are fundraising to build homes for Nepal earthquake victims have reached their original £4000 target in just one month.
The Prendy family, from Islandmagee, have now increased their target to £10,000 amid the phenomenal response to their campaign.
Having surpassed their original target of £4000, Jane and her Nepalese husband Rishi Kunwar now hope to raise enough money to build 25 houses for impoverished earthquake victims, particularly members of the Dalit caste, known as the “untouchables.”
Jane told the Times: “It is unbelievable that we have raised £4,030 in only a month.
“People have been so incredibly generous and we would ask them to keep supporting us as more money means more homes for people in distress.
“£4000 homes will help 10 families, while £10,000 would help 25.
“We will be travelling to Nepal in August and will be bringing back documentary evidence showing how people’s donations have helped the community out there.
“The Nepalese government is giving people either a £100 grant or corrugated iron for a roof, but many people are small subsistence farmers and that isn’t enough money to rebuild a flattened home.”
“Go Fund Me, who host the Go Build Nepal account, are charging five per cent but even that is being donated to a Nepal charity, and we intend to make up the remaining five per cent.
“We intend to carry on fundraising and we would be grateful for any help that members of the community could give us.”
To donate to Go Build-Nepal visit: http://www.gofundme.com/uju8g4mg
The family have also launched a new “£10 topi” campaign to provide livestock for poor families in Nepal.
The Prendy family have already sent their first £100 to Nepal to help local women buy nanny goats and chickens to support their families.
The family are selling the traditional Nepalese topi hats, seen in their “Hats off for Nepal” social media campaign, for £10 with all proceeds going to purchase the animals in the earthquake-stricken country.
Jane Prendy’s Nepalese husband Rishi Kunwar explained: “If you give a woman a goat or chickens you are giving her a career and a means of supportin gher family. Women have more responsibility in running the house, they have to find food for the family so it’s about female empowerment and investing in the community through them.”
Meanwhile, the “Hats off for Nepal” social media campaign, which has been supported by comedian Russell Brand, Miss Northern Ireland Leeanne McDowell and model agency boss Alison Clarke is receiving endorsement from local businesses and community figures.
“We want to thank the staff at Ledcom who have embraced the campaign and agreed to pose in topis,” said Jane.
“Local councillors such as Mark McKinty have also posed and Mark even donned a knight’s helmet at the Bruce Festival in support of the campaign!”
To purchase a topi, send Jane a message on the Hats off for Nepal Facebook page.
The Prendy family are also launching a new initiative to ensure Nepalese children who were orphaned or lost the family’s main breadwinner in the earthquake can have an education.
“When someone dies that is it for their children’s education. Some children would have to give up their lives, becoming street cleaners or even prostitues,” explained Jane.
“We will be looking to partner with an orphanage or organisation in Nepal.”
The Prendy family are seeking help to design a website for the scheme. To get in touch, send Jane a message on the Hats off for Nepal Facebook page.