Elderly woman works to build her new home
Thank you for your generous support of families in Nepal affected by the devastating earthquake last year. Your donations have helped familes and communities begin the road to recovery. After completing a baseline survey and program orientation, we were able to identify 60 families (20 in Sarki Gaun, 20 in Sunkhani, and 20 in Sindhupalchowk) for housing construction support. The baseline survey revealed that families living in these communities were the most vulnerable, as over 50% of the homes were destroyed. Multiple aftershocks, fuel shortages, and Nepal’s harsh weather have made it extremely difficult for families in these areas rebuild after the earthquake. The one-on-one interviews conducted by local staff helped identify and respond to some of the situational factors that could potentially increase vulnerabilities at both local and community levels. To date, 40 houses have been constructed and 20 more are under construction.
Three women’s groups in Sipapokhare, Bhotsipa, and Sunkhani have been established. Each group has 30 members. These three self-help groups meet twice a month to discuss challenges and share with each other their hopes and ambitions to save money for their families. The money is saved in a joint account and women can take a loan from the group to establish or expand their businesses. These 90 women have begun basic adult education, and will also be provided with livelihood training, such as poultry farming, goat raising, organic vegetable farming, and tailoring.
The project is going very well, and we look forward to continuing the great work you have generously supported!
Voices From Nepal: Ms. Sumitra Tamang
By the time the earthquake and aftershocks that struck Nepal last April had subsided, 9,000 people were dead, 22,000 were injured, and 800,000 homes lay in ruin. Sumitra, a life-long resident of Sunkhani, located in the Nuwokot District of central Nepal, was among the survivors. Recently, local staff visited with families, like Sumitra’s, who have been working tirelessly to rebuild their lives, livelihoods, homes, and community. Sumitra has lived in Sunkhani her entire life and works as a laborer whenever she can find work. Her husband left her 12 years ago. With three children and no income, life has been a day-to-day struggle ever since. When the earthquake struck, Sumitra lost everything. In just a few seconds, her house, and everything in it, lay in ruin.
“I felt hopeless. My children and I had no food or shelter,” says Sumitra, recalling the terrifying event. “We had to sleep outside under the trees, with empty stomachs. All of our clothes, food, and blankets were destroyed. I had lost all of my hope. For days we didn’t hear from anyone. I thought that the government didn’t care if we lived or died.”
Sumitra’s feelings changed when a relief camp was set up within a week or so of the earthquake. The camp would help build emergency shelters, and distribute food and clothes to the most vulnerable families. “I couldn’t stop crying because of how grateful I was,” recalls Sumitra when she found out that she would receive the support she needed to rebuild her home. Today, Sumitra and her children live in a sturdy, safe home. Sumitra, and other women just like her, will receive training, support, and small, low-interest loans to start small businesses that will generate income. Sumitra and other women in her community have lifted themselves out of the rubble of April 17, 2015 and rebuilt their lives thanks to the support of generous donors.
Sumitra Tang is interviewed by local staff
House being built
Women participate in self-help group
Women's adult education class