Hugging Nepal

On the 25th of April Nepal suffered a strong earthquake of 7.8 and 8.1 magnitude and successive aftershocks, killing 9 thousand people, leaving more than 23 thousand injured and hundreds homeless. Material losses are calculated to be around 7 thousand million dollars.

We arrived to Nepal on the 23rd of July and started working the next day with All Hands Volunteer. This NGO works for the response, relief and recovery from natural disasters. Currently they have to bases in Nepal, one in Kathmandu and one in Sindupalchok.

All Hands Volunteer Projects in Kathmandu, Nepal:

  • Temporary Learning Centers (TLC): around 5000 of the schools were destroyed or damaged by the earthquake leaving the children without the chance of access to safe education, leaving them exposed to child labor and human trafficking. Building TLCs’ allows the children to go back to school and resume their education.
  • Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps: Many families have lost their homes and moved to the IDP camps to wait for the rainy season to finish and to be able to go back to their lands to rebuild their houses. There is a team going on a daily basis to help build trenches to prevent floods, community centers, fences, toilets, washing areas, etc.

    Building the community shelter and fences for the IDP Camp in Chuchhepati, Kathmandu. Around 7.000 families had to move to this camp after the April’s earthquake.
  • Rubble, rubble & rubble: every day 3 to 5 teams go to different areas around Kathmandu to rubble, prepare the sites and level them so that families can rebuild their homes after monsoon season.

    With the rubble team on our first week with All Hands volunteer. We clear the sites so that beneficiaries can rebuild their homes after Monsoon season.
  • “50 homes”: Consists in building 50 temporary homes for those families that lost everything. Building these homes is a 4 step process that involves 4 teams: Structure, wire, walls and roofs.

    These are the temporary houses we build in Halchwok, Kathmandu as part of the “50 homes” project. So far we have finished and handed 11 homes and still counting!

Our work with All Hands- Project Nepal. We work every day except for Saturdays from 7am to 4.30pm. The NGO provides us with free food and accommodation.

Week 1: Rubble, rubble & more rubble. We worked clearing the sites for 4 different families so that they could start rebuilding their homes when rainy season is over.

A cleared rubble site ready to be built on!! Behind Nepali endless ricefields 🙂

Week 2: We finished rubbling 2 sites outside Kathmandu. We joined the IDP team in one of the largest IDP camps (more than 7 thousand families live there) and helped building a Community Center, a fence around the trenches and a large fence around the IDP camp. BY the end of the week we joined “50 homes” project in building the structures.

All Hands Team heading for homemade lunch prepared by the beneficiaries… “dhal bat” ( rice & lentils) everyday!!

Week 3:  We worked with IDP and “50 homes” building the roofs. 

Building the structure for the IDP (Internally Displaced Perdsons) community shelter in Chuchhepati, Kathmandu.

Week 4: Javi was asked to be team leader for 50 homes roofing and in 2 weeks we finished 11 roofs!!! This means that 11 families can move in to their new houses!

Javier was named Team Leader(TL) for the roofing team in “50 homes” Project. Javi (left) & Lily (right), second to TL and beautiful human being.

It is touching but also rewarding to be able to work and help people after a natural disaster, especially if you are able to witness directly the positive impact and results of what we do; and we could never do this without you!! This is why we started this campaign, so that you can help us to keep on donating our time for this cause and keep on helping!! 

Vicky working with the walls team in “50 homes”.

The situation in Nepal

Sadly the media usually detracts reality. It is not true that Nepal is completely in ruins but it is true that there are thousands and thousands of victims. The problem is that the media used the catastrophe as an impact and then forget the news… but rebuilding process is very long and the problems that come after an earthquake are varied.

The earthquake hit hard and we can witness it especially on the fear that the people feel even with the smallest aftershocks we experience on a weekly basis. In Katmandu we can see several damaged buildings with cracks or totally collapsed. The situation changes once you start moving outside the city, the houses are mainly made of brick and mud, if not only mud, and these are the most affected.

More pictures

Kathmandu`s view from All Hands Volunteer Base.
Local woman with her baby
This beneficiary of “50 homes” project works collecting flowers. Many Nepalis from rural areas have farming jobs or work in rice fields for a living.
After we hand them the house the home owners start the process of making it a permanent structure by adding cement, bricks and stone. It’s amazing to see each families personal touch on the houses!
Three man sitting on a bench facing one of the oldest buildings in Durbar Square. As you can see it is standing thanks to the metal structure holding it.
Durbar Square
View of Kathmandu Valley and Monkey Temple.
Rubble sites usually look like this when we arrive.
This is an example of houses in rural areas made of mud or mud bricks. ONly the front of this house is standing.
One of the rubble teams we joined and Bim our Nepali driver 🙂
The view outside Kathmandu on our way to rubble.

abrazo-5-copy Hugsaroundtheworld.co

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