Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung is calling on the world to donate money to help those affected by the 7.9 magnitude earthquake which has devastated his home country. With the help of CrowdRise, the designer is raising relief funds through his charity, Shikshya Foundation Nepal. He wants to hit $500,000. So far, he's raised half that amount, with the CFDA donating $10,000.
Born in Singapore, Gurung was raised in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. He moved to New York in 1999 to pursue his fashion career, but Nepal remains close to his heart, particularly during a time of such severe adversity. Gurung describes Nepal as "a constant source of inspiration"; his family still lives there.
In one interview with the Wall Street Journal, an exhausted Gurung told of his concern for loved ones in the aftermath of the disaster and the pain of "sitting here when your family’s out there and you feel so helpless".
“There will be another crunchtime in a week or two, when the attention of the world moves on: that’s when Nepal will really need help,” he told the New York Times. “Especially in the small villages that at the moment are almost inaccessible.”
He added that members of his family, including his parents, are sleeping outside their houses "because of fear of aftershocks".
The official death toll stands at around 5,000, but is likely to increase once rescue teams gain access to more remote areas of the country. Many Nepalese people are also sleeping outside, with food and water in short supply. Gurung says he just wants to help. "My thing was just to make sure people are aware of it. There’s been a tremendous, tremendous reaction from everyone.”