Photo: Bicram Rijal

Events and Conferences

Graduate Students Fundraising for Nepal

April 29, 2015

Our graduate students have been personally touched by the huge earthquake in Nepal.

Here are three of their stories, from Anish Pokhrel, Mechatronics, Bicram Rijal, Anthropology and Cathy Ellis, Health. If you'd like to help, please let them know. Donation links are at the bottom of this page.

Anish Pokhrel, Mechatronics Systems Engineering, SFU Surrey
Anish Pokhrel, a master’s student in Mechatronics Systems Engineering at SFU’s Surrey campus, describes feeling helpless as he worked to make contact with members of his family in Nepal, now living in a communal tent with other neighbors, in the hours after the quake.

He is staying connected with them daily as aftershocks continue to pummel the region. Meanwhile he is hopeful his sister and brother-in-law can follow through with their plans to settle in Canada. The pair were scheduled to fly out May 8 to start their new lives in BC.

Pokhrel, who left Nepal to do his undergraduate degree in Wisconsin in 2008, is in his second semester at SFU, focusing on fuel cell research. The 25-year-old visited home last June before starting his graduate program, which has included stints at Ballard Power Systems.

He is helping to organize students from various post-secondary institutions to attend a candlelight vigil at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Wednesday, April 29, and will continue to raise awareness of his country’s plight.

Anish Pokhrel, 778.319.7884;

Bicram Rijal, Sociology and Anthropology, SFU Burnaby
Bicram Rijal, a PhD student in anthropology, is in the midst of a research project aimed at improving sanitation in Nepal, and was about to leave to start his field research on May 1. The country had been on track to meet new sanitation goals by 2017.

He still plans on returning to start the work on May 15, but is uncertain how that will go. Both he and his wife have connected with their families but have been “greatly impacted” by news coverage. Rijal is also keeping in close touch with half a dozen Nepalese students at SFU who hope to raise further awareness of the tragedy through events that include an earthquake fundraiser at Vancouver’s Café Kathmandu on Thursday.

Bicram Rijal,

Cathy Ellis, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU Burnaby
Cathy Ellis, a PhD student in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is currently in Nepal and leading a UBC Citizens for Global Midwifery Program with midwifery students. (See her travel report on her 2014 research in Nepal.) The midwifery program's blog, written by a student in the program, reports that the group is safe.

See also: Other SFU connections to Nepal.

Donation links:

Note: The Government of Canada will match, dollar for dollar, all donations registered Canadian charities via the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. (The Canadian Red Cross qualifies for matching dollars.)

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