Nepalese business and computing students from Tauranga based Concordia Institute of Business joined the Christchurch earthquake relief effort last week.
Four Tauranga students, and a pair from Te Puke, seized the initiative and headed to the city, telling Civil Defence when they arrived that they wanted to help.
The Tauranga based ‘Gurkha’ contingent at work in Christchurch as part of the international student volunteer army.
“We didn’t have any place to stay,” says Diwakar Mainali.
“We went to Civil Defence – they gave us a number.”
It was that of Christchurch builder Mark Woolley who put the group up in his garage.
“He even gave us a car so we could go around places and help,” says Diwakar.
“The first day we went round every house to see if they needed help.
“From the second day we contacted the student volunteer army and we worked with them for six days.”
Nepalese students Nirajan Poudyal, Sanjeev Bashyal and Diwakar Mainali with pictures of their Christchurch experience.
It was in this element that the spirit of British Empire was shown as the Tauranga based ‘Gurkha’ contingent set to work shovelling silt and working with wheelbarrows as part of the University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army.
The army is a volunteer brigade, say the Gurkhas, who noted there are contingents from Canada, Germany and other countries.
The army has helped remove the silt from Christchurch’s streets and yards.
The ‘Gurkha’ contingent wanted to stay longer, but had to return for study commitments. They are grateful Concordia allowed them the week to perform their duty in the south.