Just when you think that young blood is all about rebel and raging hormones, along come brother duo Karan and Kyle Nair.
In the wake of the terrible devastation that has rocked Nepal, Bahrain’s very own bighearted boys; Karan (16) and Kyle (14), extend a helping hand with their charitable initiative ‘Seismic Support’.
Bahrain This Week caught up with the brothers and their mum, Karina Nair, who is helping them handle the logistics for Seismic Support.
Karan tells us that their Nepalese house help, sisters Seeta and Geeta unfortunately lost family members in their village of Jyamire due to the earthquake on 25 April 2015. This village is 80 km north-east of Kathmandu and difficult to access. With no aid received to help them cope with this cruel disaster, the situation in this village looks bleak.
“Jyamire has a population of around 5000 people and only one government school. That’s the village we are helping rebuild,” he says.
Younger sibling Kyle pipes in, “It’s fairly easy to see the destruction on T.V. and just feel sad. But since we have two people in our home affected by this disaster, we felt we had to do something to make a difference.
“We started off small, thinking that we would try to raise a few hundred dinars, and nowhere near as much as this, so it’s great to have some more than we expected.”
What ignited the initial spark was a simple Facebook message that they put up to all of their friends and family, telling them of their idea to help the residents of Jyamire. This message migrated to other types of social media and word quickly got around. Before they knew it, friends of friends and even complete strangers approached them to accept donations in cash or kind.
Speaking of the response that their fervent appeal garnered, Karan says, “A lot of people were actually forthcoming to help. Our fellow students of St. Christopher’s, in years above and below us donated clothing and food items. Our school is also raising money for our cause through bake sales and other such fundraisers.”
Karan and Kyle have also reached out to other schools to join them in their effort to rebuild Jyamire, for which they have received whole hearted support from the Hawar International School and the Nadeen School.
Coke has sponsored six thousand litres of the water for the Nair brothers’ cause, and other companies have also donated significantly.
“We’ve also got help from the Bahrain Rugby Club, who are going to have events dedicated to Seismic Support,” says Kyle.
In its true spirit of charity, The Royal Charity Organisation has stood behind the boys and their humanitarian effort to bring the village of Jyamire direly needed relief. The RCO has magnanimously offered to cargo all the aid collected to Nepal and will also sponsor the Nairs as a family to visit the country to ensure that help reaches where it is most required.
“We have cancelled our plan to visit the US this summer. After Karan’s exams, we’re planning to make a trip to Nepal to see how everyone’s efforts have made a difference and how we can further help them,” says Kyle proudly.
Karan tells us that all cash donations will be directly transferred to the village Headman, who is a much trusted and respected person in Jyamire. This will ensure that everybody gets a fair share without any corruption or bureaucracy.
Karina, the boys’ mother says, “I’m so proud. Words cannot express the feeling when the boys said that they would like to do something and make a difference. We thought it would be on a small scale, but the response has been overwhelming; from family, friends and even strangers!”
Karina believes that however small any contribution may be, it is a priceless donation. “We cannot save the whole of Nepal, but we can make a difference to this particular village. The response to our initiative has been fantastic; we truly appreciate everyone’s effort, kindness and generous donations. And we are really proud that our sons took the first step towards it,” she says.
We asked Karina how parents can instill the spirit of philanthropy in their children, given that we live in a largely material world. “All we have to do is inspire them, and put the idea in their perspective,” she says.
“When our sons went to speak to kids of other schools, they told them that we have everything, including our play stations and X boxes here. But the kids in Nepal don’t have anything at all, not even a roof over their heads! They were made to think how they would feel if they did not have the available luxuries and comforts that we normally live with. And that struck a note! So we’ve got to make them relate to the problems that the less fortunate face. That’s how you encourage children to make a difference in the world,” she says.
It is believed that it will take several years to rebuild Nepal that has been brutally razed to the ground. To further aid this ongoing process and to enable people to see the real-time pictures of the quake-struck areas and the difference that their donations have made, the boys have set up www.seismicsupport.org. They plan to have this website regularly updated over the years to come. “However big or small, the donations we have received are not in vain. It is all going to make a big difference to Jyamire, which has received no aid so far,” says Karina.
Tonnes of food items, tents, medicines, clothes and blankets collected will soon be on their way to the people of Jyamire, instilling hope for their future.
Karan and Kyle’s endeavour reminds us that no one is too small or too insignificant to move mountains. All it takes is empathy, the heartfelt will to help and the altruistic spirit to take the first step.