Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, based in Kathmandu, Nepal, have been working with the people of Koshi Dekha VDC (Village Development Committee) since the earthquake of April 25, 2015. This VDC has nine wards with 507 families. All but 13 houses were destroyed and eight people died in the earthquake. The people were assisted with relief materials: food, clothing, tarpaulins, tin sheets for temporary shelters, safe spaces for children, and counseling for trauma victims.They were also provided with seeds for cultivation. At present people are engaged in recovery.
The journey of the Sisters in Nepal during this period of earthquake relief is far from over, but thanks to the overwhelming support of the worldwide SCN Family they have already made great strides in helping some of the most vulnerable people. Please continue to join us in prayer over the days and months ahead.
Single women: 70
Children: 540 (under 5: 182)
People from the villages are members of various committees and groups with different responsibilities for the recovery effort. They have received a lot of input on issues that they need to deal with and information is shared on a regular basis. Decisions are made active participation of all in the groups. Along with the village committee leaders, people decide how to share benefits and who among them needs it most. Even though they belong to different tribes and caste groups, there are no barriers to work together as one united group. All are equally vulnerable and they are focussed on their moving forward as a whole.
Decision making is based on a bottom-up approach and people own the work and take responsibility for the success and failures.
Since reconstruction of an entire village of 507 families is an enormous task for a total group of Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Nepal, they have joined hands with other NGOs and INGOs — the Jesuits, Rotary Club and UNDP, Don Bosco Hall, and Caritas Nepal. Together they have decided to build a school in the village. Along with the village coordination committee they meet once a month plan and evaluate their activities. SCNs and Jesuits are financing four classrooms, UNDP is contributing for two classrooms and the Rotary Club is building toilets. It is truly a partnership effort. All groups are involved in the planning, implementation and monitoring of all activities and the school construction is underway.
It will take an estimated five years for the people to recover from the 2015 earthquakes.
A bulldozer has removed all the debris of the old school and cleared and leveled the ground. It is ready for the building to start. Due to the fuel crisis and non-availability of materials the work couldn’t start as the original plan. But the meetings and the planning with engineers are going on. The political problems of Nepal and the crisis people face has slowed down the work.
Activities at present
There are 140 children in the center for tuition, extracurricular activities like indoor/outdoor games, and snacks at midday. A Deepali celebration with one group of children of 90 with games and cultural programs. We gave prizes to the winners and school bag and Tiffin carries to all. Snacks with soft drink was the climax of the program. It was a day which the children will never forget. After the earth quake it is the first time they were all in a mood to celebrate and have fun including the teachers and other staff. (Many parents also were present) On 27th November we gave note books and stationaries for 140 children. For the winterization program we collaborated with ARSO, another NGO and distributed blankets, floor mats which was a great need of our people as they were suffering from cold season.
A multipurpose hall is under way for the community by the SCNs. People have taken great interest and contribute manual labour towards it. They have a different committee to monitor this work. Once it is finished, all the meetings and training programmes will be conducted in it. At present the meetings are conducted under the tree as there is no rooms are available, due the earth quake all are cracked or collapsed. The people are on the process of assessing the interest of individuals to learn training like driving, electricians’, Mushroom cultivation, Milk processing unit, Cement block making, tailoring, Carpentry etc. One community came together with the suggestion that they will make the cement bricks which is needed for the whole area to make houses. Later too they can make and sell the bricks to others. It is going to be a community project and it is a joy for us to see their enthusiasm and selfless work. They have their own committee to see to the work. This is on the process now, two of them have gone for the training and two are appointed to find out the price/quality of the machine to purchase it with the consultation with their team and Sisters.
Our plan until the end of December 2015 is to give uniforms and sweaters to 140 children, a psycho socio seminar will be conducted on 11th December. A Child protection seminar will be conducted. Program for women with special needs will be done, one day camp for the children and Christmas celebration. A medical camp is scheduled for December but due to lack of availability of medicine we will have to postponed it. With the completion of the multipurpose community hall, we Start training for the women, send interested personals for different training to outside. Set up a small office room attached to the hall. Along with school building, repair of a health Centre which is cracked, adding one more room to it.