Almost two years ago, we all watched with heavy hearts as a magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastated Nepal. It hit with a fury, flattening entire villages and rendering hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Families working in Kathmandu were forced to abandon their jobs and return to their village homes to check on extended family, assess damages and begin the rebuilding process. And, through the devastation, their children sat in limbo, more vulnerable to exploitation and forced labor as their families struggled to get back on their feet.
It has been nearly two years since the earthquake in April, 2015, and I am constantly inspired by the support I see for a country fighting to rebuild. Your dedication to this project has enabled GoodWeave to be there every step of the way, working with weaving communities to make them feel safe and supported throughout the hardships of change.
Our team in Nepal has been working tirelessly to manage unexpected challenges over the past two years, including an extended fuel blockade, internal bureaucratic constraints placed on reconstruction projects, and a lack of manpower and transportation across the country. Despite these challenges, GoodWeave has adapted its approach, forged new partnerships, and continued developing new ways to bring security and stability to weaving families and their children.
GoodWeave is proud to be partnering with Build up Nepal, a non-profit company that helps local communities create and build with quake-resistant, earth-reinforced bricks made from predominantly local materials. Build up Nepal provides the brick-making machines and training, and local community members provide the drive and hard work to build their own homes safely, sustainably, and affordably.
As I write this update, families living in the Lisankhu village are making their own bricks with the support of GoodWeave and Build up Nepal. Soon, they will build their first model home: an example for the houses to come. In the coming months, we plan to train local groups on brick-making and house construction in five different communities across the Sindhupalchowk District. Altogether, our partnership will allow 85 weaving families to reconstruct their houses.
This new partnership means that GoodWeave can provide new homes – safe, reinforced, community-built homes – to families still living in temporary corrugated tin structures nearly a full two years later. Parents can get back to work and focus on weaving and earning more income, instead of trying to make a life in temporary housing. When their home life is stabilized, their children face a much lower risk of exploitation. They can focus on learning and playing. They can focus on being children.
Long-term rebuilding after a crisis is always difficult, and we certainly have a long road ahead. I am so grateful for your support, generosity, and understanding through the changes and the challenges. I look forward to sharing more stories and progress as we continue our journey.
Meeting with locals and community representatives