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Nepalese Long Islanders Seek Donations For Earthquake Victims

first_imgThe 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Saturday, sending buildings rumbling to the streets and leaving precious historical sites in tatters. More than 5,000 people have died, but that number is likely to rise, possibly to 10,000, officials said.Three days after the quake, the United Nations released an update on the conditions in Nepal, reporting that 8 million people in 39 districts have been affected.“According to early indications, 1.4 million people are in need of food assistance,” the UN said. “Of these, 750,000 people live near the epicenter in poor quality housing. Impact on agriculture based livelihoods and food security is expected to be extremely high.”The UN said Nepal desperately needs medical tents, medication and surgical kits to help the wounded.Also included in its wish list: body bags.Prashant Gami, 28, of Selden, moved to the US from Nepal seven years ago. His brother and other relatives still live there. He was fortunate that he didn’t have to wait breathlessly to get in contact with relatives, but the tragedy has been difficult to comprehend. It’s also nearly impossible to maintain conversations because cell phone service is spotty.“We grew up in Nepal,” Gami said by phone. “It was very emotional to see all the destruction. It’s going to take a long time. We need everyone’s help to rebuild Nepal.”Gami and Shah are doing their best to help that effort.“I really want to go,” Shah said over the phone. He wants to be on the ground in Nepal. He wants to help rebuild. But, he said, he’s more useful here—selling t-shirts, collecting donations and coordinating the local relief effort. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When Chandan Shah of Coram awoke on Saturday to images of destruction in his homeland of Nepal, he was overcome with shock.He immediately thought of his parents, who live in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu—a sprawling city particularly hit hard by the massive earthquake. The 28-year-old man called his parents, but was unable to get in touch with them. Hours had passed, and still nothing. Finally, after 24 hours, he heard their voices. The Long Island Nepalese Society is accepting clothing donations at 6 Rustic Court, Plainview. View image | gettyimages.comShah’s parents were safe. Like many others, they took up residence in a humanitarian aid camp and were living under a tent out of fear of going inside due to countless nerve-rattling aftershocks. Many people haven’t returned to their vulnerable homes since the quake, but do so to use the bathroom or to quickly cook meals.“It’s like a nightmare for me,” Shah said over the phone Tuesday, as he and a friend prepared to sell dozens of shirts in Queens and Manhattan to raise money for quake survivors.The duo was armed with 50 “Pray for Nepal” shirts and were hoping to sell them for $15 each. The money would go toward relief efforts in Nepal. Shah is also coordinating relief efforts through the Long Island Nepalese Society, which is accepting clothing donations in Plainview. View image | gettyimages.com View image | gettyimages.com What quake victims need most, Shah said, is clothes, tents, medical supplies, and food.“The international organizations are helping,” Shah said, but added, “more things need to be done.”“So many people are missing,” he said.last_img read more

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Chinese footballers go to Brazil for extra polish

first_img0Shares0000Young Chinese players sent by China’s Shandong Luneng football club attend a training session in Porto Feliz, Brazil © AFP / NELSON ALMEIDAPORTO FELIZ, Brazil, Dec 19 – Arriving in Brazil, Chinese footballer Long Yushuo took on the more easily pronounced name Thomas, but it’s the locals’ skills with the ball that he’s really hoping to adopt.Thomas, 16, is one of a squad of youth players from Chinese team Shandong Luneng dispatched to polish their game at Desportivo Brasil club in Porto Feliz, near Sao Paulo, which Shandong bought in 2014. The idea is that the 22,400-mile (36,000-kilometer) round trip will enable these youngsters to bring back something that all the money and desire in China’s burgeoning football scene cannot otherwise get — Brazilian footballing magic.When Thomas and another 22 players from the under-16 side arrived from Jinan, capital of Shandong province, in April, they knew little of Brazil.Along with football practice, they study Portuguese in the quiet town of 50,000 people. But Thomas, who picked his name in honor of Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller, is clear about what his principal lesson has been in Porto Feliz.“Technique,” he said, alongside his teammates, who all wore Shandong’s orange strip.– Money chasing talent –China may not have much footballing pedigree but, encouraged by President Xi Jinping and lavish spending, it is working to catch up quickly.Luneng, a subsidiary of the chief national electricity company, is one of the big investors in the expansion plan, which has made China the world’s fifth biggest transfer market in 2016. Of all the foreign imports to the Super League, the 21 Brazilian players comprise the biggest contingent.The national team, though, has yet to see much benefit. China lags in 60th place in FIFA rankings and did not qualify for next year’s World Cup.One of the young Chinese football players sent to Brazil for training carries balls after practice — China may not have much footballing pedigree but, encouraged by President Xi Jinping and lavish spending, it is working to catch up quickly © AFP / NELSON ALMEIDASo China’s strategists decided to try to unpick the secrets of Brazilian football so that the next generation can get the missing edge.“This exchange was created so that they can achieve a similar quality to that of the players here,” Desportivo Brasil technical coordinator Rodrigo Pignataro told AFP.“They are very disciplined, but they lack nous, cheekiness and flexibility and autonomy. That’s what the Brazilian boys have.”Desportivo Brasil is not an ordinary club, but more like a training academy, so the Chinese are in good hands.The club hosts another five Chinese players from the under-20 team as well as 130 Brazilian players ranging in age from 14 to the club’s own third regional division professional team, all seeking the excellence that will let them break through to the top level.– Patience –For the youngsters in Porto Feliz, where Brazilian and Chinese flags fly side by side, the future should be bright.“This is the group the Chinese government wants to serve as the core of a team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the World Cup in 2022. We have a heavy responsibility,” Pignataro said.Young Chinese football players training in Brazil hit the books before they hit the training field © AFP / NELSON ALMEIDAAfter swotting over history books and other academic classes in the mornings, the main focus is getting out onto the training field.Vitinho, a skillful forward, has done three seasons in Porto Feliz and is now part of the under-20 team. Given how integrated the 18-year-old is — even becoming a fan of Brazilian funk music — few remember that his real name is Liu Chaoyang.“I want to play in Europe, but I need to work a lot to improve,” he said in fluent Portuguese.The same might be said for the whole Chinese experiment, but Zhao Shuo, a 25-year-old assistant coach, says he’s ready to take the time.He’s spent two months following his Brazilian counterparts around and says the only area where he might have the advantage is in the iron discipline associated with Asian teams.“Football needs time because it’s a kind of education and education is not a short-term thing. Maybe we will need 10 or 20 years or more,” he said in English, pointing to Japan as an example.“We have to learn from our neighbors and be patient,” he said, never taking his eyes off the action on the field.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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