Over the past year, Nepal national, and Empowerment WORKS’ regional director, Bandita Thapa led disaster relief and locally-led resilience with communities devastated by Nepal’s 2015 earthquake (original campaign here). Now, with a focus on resiliency, Bandita and team work to unite a diverse network of local partners to launch ‘Catalyst Action Training (CAT)’, a new 7SS train-the-trainer program – Spring 2017!
On 25 April 2015 a devastating earthquake left nearly 9,000 dead and more than twice as many severely injured and distraught. More than 1,000,000 homes, schools and hospitals were destroyed leaving 3.5 million homeless and in despair. In its immediate aftermath, Women Foundation Nepal Founder and Empowerment WORKS’ regional director Bandita Thapa quickly formed a disaster relief / action network consisting of the Nepal Government Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Women and Children, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC) and other Nepalese governmental departments. The goal: to swiftly provide shelter, food, clothing and health services for victims cold, hungry and confused in the ravaged districts of Sindhupalchwok, Dolkaha, Dhading, Gorkha, Lamjung, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, as well as throughout the isolated rural mountain regions..
The results were exceptional as Women Foundation Nepal and Bandita’s action team of governmental agencies directly reached and directly supported thousands of families, providing tens of thousands of individuals with food, shelter and hygiene kits. Bandita’s action network additionally established child-friendly, temporary homes throughout the region’s many small villages, providing safety and protection for 15,000 children for nearly four months. Additionally, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, the Medical Council and local government bodies, Women Foundation Nepal enlisted more than 20 eye doctors and 16 volunteers from Canada, USA, and Europe to medicinally address injuries and supply eyeglasses to more than 10,000 individuals.
A year has now passed and the Nepal government is no longer able to provide any support to many of the 2015 earthquake victims. Much assistance is still urgently needed as today nearly 1,000,000 Nepalese children still do not have a school to attend. Millions of high-altitude villagers subsist through long, cold winter-rains confined within flimsy makeshift tents and dilapidated tin-shacks. We have even received on-the-ground reports detailing desperate families feeling forced to sell their internal organs to fund the rebuilding of their homes. It is clear our journey of recovery is not over.
As Empowerment WORKS facilitates The Global Summit in a few short months, Women Foundation Nepal will prepare for the launch of their joint ‘Catalyst Action Training (CAT)’, a new 7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS) train-the-trainer pilot program. This new Nepal-based project will link-up this past year’s work with global Partners in Empowerment (PIE) to support local Nepalese social innovators and local organizers.
Together and with your support, this evolving network will be able to empower locally-driven community efforts – and sustainable solutions – through seed capital, appropriate technologies, and market access for Nepalese social entrepreneurs. Finally, with your help we can continue to maintain locally-led resilience through the literal terms of child education.
Thank you for the support of readers around the world. You may still contribute EW’s Nepal page here.
Women Foundation Nepal, founder
Empowerment WORKS, regional director