Sewa International Relief/Rehabilitation Work
The fire and its impact
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Camp-fire which started on November 8, 2018 killed at least 88 people and destroyed 15,000 structures, including homes and businesses. It virtually wiped out the entire town of Paradise, while Concow and Magalia were the other two cities that were severely affected. Nearly 50,000 people were evacuated, and many rendered homeless. It has been deemed the most destructive fire in the history of California. It has affected most of the residents hailing from lower income groups who were not sufficiently insured.
Sewa steps in
Once the fire struck, it spread so quickly that destruction was inevitable. People were forced to flee with little or no belongings. To help the survivors, Sewa International formed a task force to deal with the disaster in all three stages of disaster relief: relief, rehabilitation, and rebuilding.
During the initial relief efforts, as with other disasters, Sewa has been at the forefront, working to provide help for the fire victims. We have provided food, shelter, clothing, gasoline, space heaters, generators for their RVs, and tool kits to continue with their jobs. A donation drive was organized, and eight van loads of items were delivered to the Hope Center in Oroville, and to the people in temporary shelters nearby. A team of Sewa volunteers also worked at the Hope Center on weekends to help sort, pack and distribute in-kind donations arriving at their storage facility. As many families faced uncertainties and funds were low, our team decided to partner with local volunteers and hosted a holiday luncheon event in the town of Loomis, CA. Over $7,500 in gifts, gift cards, and laptop donations were distributed to attendees at the event. This brought some much-needed holiday cheer in the lives of the people who had lost everything in the deadly fire.
Almost three months into disaster, Sewa International is now concentrating on rehabilitation efforts in the area. We continue supporting individual victims and are also focusing on efforts to support local community organizations and school districts in re-establishing themselves. When natural disasters strike, schools in impacted areas face many challenges in getting back to normalcy, from replacing furniture to restocking supplies. The wildfire destroyed or damaged all nine campuses in Paradise