New Homes For Nepalese Earthquake Victims
Organized by: Justin Riele
Family, friends, and others: as some of you may know, Justin and I have been spending the past month in Kathmandu, Nepal, volunteering at a local school for underprivileged children and assisting in various earthquake relief efforts. 2 months after this disaster, thousands of Nepalis remain homeless, living in tents or temporary shelters as they attempt to resume their normal lives. Belkot is a small village 3 hours away from Kathmandu that was hit particularly hard by the earthquake. Many of its residents are extremely poor, and rely on subsistence farming and base wage work to support themselves and their families. Through Chhori, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Nepalese women and girls, we have identified three families in this village who need assistance: Shanta: Shanta is a single mother to three daughters. Her husband passed away 4 years ago. Shanta's home was completely destroyed by the earthquake. Since then, she has been staying at a local religious leader's home with her youngest daughter, while her two older daughters have been staying with their uncle. However, since the eldest daughter began menstruating, their uncle has forced them to sleep outside in a tent because they are considered "unclean." Ratna: Ratna is a single mother to 4 children: 3 daughters and 1 son. Her husband passed away 3 years ago. Her home was also completely destroyed by the earthquake, and she has been living with her in-laws. Ratna and her in-laws are not on friendly terms, and she has been struggling to live with them in such cramped quarters. Chet and Parbati: Chet and Parbati Khatiwara are a married couple with 4 children. They are one of the poorest families in Belkot. Before the earthquake, Chet had managed to save enough money to construct a small home for his family. However, this home was destroyed by the earthquake, and they have been unable to save enough money to rebuild. The materials to build one house (including sheet metal for the roof, wood, and building tools) cost only $150. Renting a jeep and hiring a driver to deliver the materials costs an additional $300, making the total cost of this project $750. Any money raised in excess of this amount will be donated to EDUC, the school that we have been teaching at (see their website at: www.educnepal.org.np). This extra money will go towards the purchase of school supplies, uniforms, and maintenance for the school.