We are deeply touched by the large number of donations that have been coming in over the past couple of days to help with the search for Christiaan. One particular generous donation has even allowed us to exceed 100% funding, and we are currently well above our funding goal.
The donations allowed us to expand the search effort on several points.
Two additional flights have been carried out in order to execute a search by air and to transport the team of mountaineers to the site.
While we are writing this, the Nepalese army is ready to be deployed in the search for Christiaan. A specialized unit will perform a reconnaissance flight, and based on the gathered information determine how they can best support us in the search effort. The foundation only pays for the transport costs and food for the personnel.
Through a Facebook campaign we reached over 1.2 million people (the majority of which are currently living in Nepal or have visited it) and asked them for tips. All leads were followed up on and taken into consideration in planning the searches. When the team was handing out flyers in nearby villages, they were regularly surprised by people who, despite living in the middle of nowhere, were already aware of the missing.
Analyzing satellite images
We were able to purchase satellite images and had them analyzed by a specialized company in order to discover changes in the terrain. This information will be used for planning the search.
We will reward anybody who locates Christiaan with 500 dollar. This may not sound like much, but to a Nepalese person this would amount to the better part of a year’s salary. Issuing a bigger reward would be beyond the point and might even evoke future aggression towards foreigners.
(Communication) costs in Nepal
Setting up a a major search effort in a far away country like Nepal calls for a great deal of communication, along with the corresponding telephone costs. The friends who have taken part in the local search, however, have paid their own travel expenses.
Website and setting up the foundation
We received a lot of financial support for setting up the foundation, building the website, and for the donation module. However, it was not possible to do this entirely free of costs. We are nevertheless very grateful for how we have been supported in this way as well.
10% donation to charities in Nepal
The uncertainty and pain that we felt when Christiaan went missing have been enormous, but this does not mean that we grew blind to the suffering of others. At the request of the family, we will therefore give 10% of our donation fund to charities in Nepal. Which initiatives we will support exactly will be determined at a later stage.
The goals of 58.000 euro we set when starting the crowd funding action seems to have been a good estimation at this point. It’s hard to tell what the future will hold. At the moment we believe to have sufficient financial means to continue our search.