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Nepal Govt. Regd. No. 1224/064, SWC Affiliation No. 22612
On April 25, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal at 11:56 am. The earthquake was the biggest to hit our country in nearly a century. It caused a widespread destruction of properties, mainly houses, and death of thousands of people. The epicenter of the earthquake was in Gorkha district, which has been our area of focus since Sambhav Nepal was established. Gorkha was one of the hardest-hit districts in Nepal where there were villages with all the houses destroyed and villages where more than 95% structures were affected.
Immediately after the earthquake hit, we visited the affected villages in Gorkha with relief supplies. You can read about our relief efforts here: Nepal Earthquake Relief. In our aid trips to Gorkha, we assessed the damages and realized that we should be focusing on long-term assistance. So, we collaborated with Ace the Himalaya, an adventure travel operator and one of our supporters, to design volunteering trips with a hope that volunteers from around the world would come to Nepal and help in rebuilding homes for the earthquake victims.
The two volunteering trips are:
The two trips allow the participants to contribute precious sweat equity as they engage in rebuilding. They also contribute financially to buy necessary building materials as they automatically donate USD 300 from the amount they have paid to sign up in the trip. We hope we will receive volunteers as long as the earthquake victims need assistance in rebuilding.
In Gorkha district, our focus location for rebuilding houses is Arughat Rural Municipality (Before the local elections of 2017, it was divided into Arupokhari, Aruchanaute, Aruarbang and Thumi Village Development Committees). To reach these places, we at first transfer our volunteers in jeeps from Kathmandu to Arughat Bazaar, which takes about 7/8 hours. And from Arughat, the volunteers have to walk to reach the destination villages. This walking can be from 1 hour to 8 hours depending upon the village location.
Two years have passed by since the earthquake hit Nepal and yet the victims haven’t fully rebuilt their houses. The government at first provided Nepali rupees 15,000 (roughly USD 150) for making temporary shelters but it wasn’t enough. Then, they provided USD 3,000 to remake the houses. But this government grant amount isn’t enough. In our calculation, at least USD 12,500 is needed to fully rebuild the houses. And the victims not only lost their houses during the earthquake but also sheds for domestic animals, their domestic animals, furniture and other things.
Our target through this project is the poor victims. Especially widows and old people without anyone to support. In other words, those who can’t afford to rebuild on their own. With the government giving USD 3,000, we will help the chosen victims with the remaining USD 9,500 to fully rebuild their houses. To identify the needy victims, we have formed a committee of 5 local leaders in the villages. They know the area and its people. So it helps us to avoid aid wastages.
So far, we have rebuilt 6 houses in Phase I. The Phase II will begin after the 2017 monsoon and we will make more houses.
Our Rebuild Home Gorkha is ongoing. We completed Phase I; as soon as 2017 monsoon ends we will enter Phase II. We will be running this project as long as the earthquake victims need support in rebuilding their damaged/destroyed houses. We hope that volunteers from various corners of the world would come to Nepal and help us.
In Phase I, we have completed 6 houses in Arughat Rural Municipality (previously called Arupokhari and Aruchanaute Village Development Committees) of Gorkha district.
In September 2015, we received the first batch of volunteers. A group of 17 went to Ward No 8 Ratamate village of Arughat Rural Municipality (previously Ward No 6 of Arupokhari Village Development Committee ). They worked hard and rebuilt the first house. This was turned into a video by two university students who were also the volunteers. You can see the video here: Video Link
There are some kind-hearted supporters who couldn’t come to Nepal but donated money to rebuild the houses. And yes, if there are people who might not have time to come here but want to donate to reconstruct the houses of the earthquake victims, they can do so.
We are thankful for the stream of volunteers who came to Nepal from various countries as well from the donors. Because of them, we have now completed 6 houses and bring happiness in the lives of the benefitted families.