Beautifully designed and constructed with local materials (stone, bamboo, wood, and cement), this school was intended to be a place for education and a meeting place for the village.
The late April and early May 2015 earthquakes destroyed 90% of the homes in the Village of Mahadevtar. The Nepal government provided each family with 15,000 rupees (just under $150 US dollars) to buy materials to build a temporary shelter.
Families had purchased corrugated metal panels and combined them with bamboo, wood, and tarps to house their families and animals. With winter fast approaching, the focus is on providing additional supplies so that they can stay warm in these minimal shelters.
The first goal was to survey all 49 homes, documenting GPS coordinates, owners certificate, and existing condition photos. Yarda and Subash tirelessly led and completed these efforts in less than a 24 hour period. Note that this include continuous trekking and climbing some very steep paths over a great distance. Kudos guys!
The second task was to review each family situation, including number of people living in household, health situation, income, and monies received to date. Yarda reviewed the budget and aligned distribution of funds as needed for each family.
After the assessments were complete, a village meeting was called at the school where the programme was introduced and funds were given to each family. Yarda and Subash did an amazing job of keeping things moving along smoothly as I photographed and assisted with a few small tasks.
Subash and I will return to this village in a few weeks to conduct trainings to help the villagers learn how to build back safer by introducing earthquake resistant technologies for construction of their new home. Hopefully I will be better prepared next time for the 5 hour mountain climbing journey- or as Yarda says, it’s just a little uphill walk.
Many thanks to our hostess, Timilamaya (Maya) and her family for taking such good care of us during our visit.
My awkward American habits and tent placed in the middle of their outdoor living room gave them much to laugh and gossip about. Maya and her family of 8 live in what is left of their 2 story home – we hope that they have enough to stay warm this winter, and possibly begin to rebuild before monsoon season sets in next spring.
It is good to be back in Kathmandu for a short stay, just long enough to meet with other NGOs working on the education and rebuilding efforts and then head back out in the field. Our next village trip to Punchkhal/Anaikot is scheduled for Thursday. Stay tuned for that programme outline and next steps.