A young Kiwi volunteering in a Nepalese children's home when last week's devastating 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck has harnessed the support of social media to provide food and supplies to small, remote villages.
Wellington man Reuben Harcourt, 23, has not only stayed on in the disaster stricken country since but his fundraising efforts have meant people in Lalitpur, in the rugged Kathmandu Valley, have received aid - including more than 4.2 tonnes of food - they otherwise would not have.
Based at a children's home through the Global Volunteer Network, Mr Harcourt said he and the home's occupants were lucky to be unscathed after Saturday's quake and its aftershocks that have claimed nearly 5000 lives so far, with the toll expected to rise.
"Sadly many in this area weren't so lucky and there are terrible stories surfacing by word of mouth everyday here about tragic losses of life and livelihood," he said.
Mr Harcourt said it was unlikely international aid would reach the most remote areas of Lalitpur.
"Some of the worst affected villages here have received no aid...and have pulled the bodies of their loved ones from the rubble themselves and now shelter homeless wherever they can find room in makeshift tents built from plastic sheets and anything they could find in the debris."
Instead of returning to New Zealand, Mr Harcourt decided to stay and help the relief effort in the area, that is home to about 500,000 people.
His campaign began on social media and soon grew to a Givealittle online fundraising page, and the combined efforts had so far raised more than $6000.
Not only is he providing money, but Mr Harcourt is also travelling hours by motorbike each day into remote, mountainous areas to distribute supplied including medicine, warm clothes, blankets and had organised 4.2 tonnes of rice, lentils, salt and cooking oil.
"I am in a privileged position of being able to work with locals to ensure that 100 per cent of funds go exactly where they are needed most. This is a rare opportunity and I'm not going to waste it."
Freezing, stormy conditions were hindering the aid, and he said there was a growing need for water purification tablets as there is a shortage of safe water, and some pipes have mixed with sewage so that many more people may die of viruses.
Global Volunteer Network operations manager Fiona Millar said Mr Harcourt's efforts would be a "lifeline" for the rural populations.
"Reuben clearly has a heart for the Nepali people, and is staying to see through the early relief phase with the communities he has built relationships with."
She said the organisation had contingency plans for emergency situations to help its volunteers leave, but also supported Mr Harcourt's decision to stay.
"It's been a sombre week for our organisation in learning the gravity of the recovery ahead for the communities we are partnered with. Reuben's work this past week, and the incredible support from the New Zealand community behind him, has been inspiring for us all."