Peace Winds America

Our core belief is that disaster response begins with preparedness, and that both disaster preparedness and response should integrate the efforts of governments, militaries, NGOs and the private sector. By strengthening disaster preparedness and response in the Asia Pacific, PWA seeks to reduce the high human, political and economic costs of natural disasters in the Pacific Rim.
Aug 4, 2016

Community Centers Enable Livelihood Recovery

Second-generation weaver Sumita.
Second-generation weaver Sumita.

More than a year has passed since PWA responded to Nepal’s worst disaster in a century.  PWA has stayed the course, transitioning our response from immediate relief and shelter construction into recovery.  PWA has focused its efforts on marginalized women and girls, providing livelihood support for home-based workers east of the capital of Kathmandu as well as reconstructing water and sanitation infrastructure in rural Ramechhap district.

Increasing Livelihoods of Home-based Women Workers

The earthquakes destroyed homes and most of the city center of Bhaktapur, a historical city east of Kathmandu.  Friends and neighbors began sharing living quarters. This situation was untenable for traditional weavers who relied on home-based crafts to support their families.

“We wanted to start weaving to regain our livelihood but neighbors complained about the noise our weaving machines made,” said Nisa, a traditional weaver in Bhaktapur.  In response to this community need PWA and its partner SABAH Nepal are constructing three community centers to provide space for women workers to regain their livelihoods and to bolster community recovery.  The centers provide training and support including classes in economic education, adult literacy, on-the-job training, psychosocial counseling, and even access to water and sanitation.  The construction of Bhaktapur Community Center is completed and job training has begun.  PWA and SABAH are building two additional centers in rural Kavrepalanchok.

“Now I can work without worrying,” said Nisa, as she sat at her loom in the newly constructed center in Bhaktapur.  “And I feel much safer here at the community center where I have many friends to work with.”

In June PWA conducted an interim evaluation and saw first-hand how the women were welcomed to the completed Bhaktapur Community Center which serves as a gathering place, a safe haven, and an entrepreneurial working center.  The PWA on-site assessment verified the great joy and deep gratitude of the women and girls of Bhaktapur, who openly expressed their deepest appreciation to our donors who made this work possible. 

Looms set up inside Bhaktapur Community Center.
Looms set up inside Bhaktapur Community Center.
PWA staff Mari Poorman with beneficiaries.
PWA staff Mari Poorman with beneficiaries.
May 26, 2016

Tohoku Partnerships Enable Kumamoto Response

PWJ search and rescue crew in Kumamoto
PWJ search and rescue crew in Kumamoto

Even as PWA continues to support long-term recovery and rehabilitation in Tohoku, this quarter we have faced yet another disaster in Japan. The earthquakes of April 14-16 devastated a wide swath of Kumamoto Prefecture, killed 49 people and injured over 3,000.  Peace Winds America immediately began conducting outreach to partners and potential supporters.

PWA’s long involvement in Tohoku has informed and even improved this new response. PWA partnership with Peace Winds Japan has been strengthened, yielding fast response and a rapid disbursement of resources.  Locally our longstanding commitment to Tohoku has assured donors and supporters that we direct resources where they are most needed. Our experience in Tohoku has helped us and PWJ quickly assess needs and provide needed food, water, shelter, showers, sanitation, and other resources to displaced residents of Kumamoto.

As immediate relief in Kumamoto transitions to recovery, we will determine with partners how best to assist those needs.  Yet we will not diminish our attention on Tohoku, whose needs remain. Our partnership with Minamisanriku community centers will continue and we will actively seek out new opportunities to assist the coastal fishing communities of Tohoku.

Thank you for your support for both of these responses.

A pet-friendly Peace Winds shelter
A pet-friendly Peace Winds shelter
Apr 25, 2016

Community Centers Continue Nepal Recovery

The Bhaktapur Community Center In Progress
The Bhaktapur Community Center In Progress

As the anniversary of the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquakes approaches, Peace Winds America remains fully committed to meaningful recovery. Since the disaster, PWA has provided immediate assistance and shelter to thousands of Nepali citizens affected by the quakes. Now we are moving ahead with programs that will restore economies, livelihood, and health.

In our last report we detailed the groundbreaking of a community center in Bhaktapur. Along with our NGO partner SABAH Nepal, we are constructing multifunctional community centers that will achieve many goals: community cohesion, livelihood training, material storage, childcare, counseling centers, and more. We are happy to report that the Bhaktapur center is nearing completion. Two additional community centers broke ground this April in the Kavrepalanchok district.

In June, PWA staff will make a site visit monitor the use of these community centers, particularly by women and girls. We will also follow up with our shelter recipients as well, assessing how Peace Winds efforts have aided their recovery.

PWA is also investigating two new recovery projects. One will focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene. The earthquake left water and sewage systems in ruins throughout Nepal. This project provides access to clean water, new toilet facilities, and will educate residents on best practices in sanitation to avoid disease. The second project targets livelihoods, providing detailed job training and equipment needed to help women and girls enter or reenter the workforce and generate a living wage.

This coming Monday the 25th, beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern time, all donations to our project will be matched by GlobalGiving!  We thank our donors for their ongoing support.

Community Center Under Construction
Community Center Under Construction
 
   

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