After the earthquake struck last April many people in the villages in Nepal across a wide swath of land were left homeless. GAC with the support of the Tampa Nepal and Indian community started sending money to help. Over the last years we had been working with Punam and Atulya Ghismire in Tampa Bay to support our projects in Chitwan. Now this amazing couple had gone back to Kathmandu to raise their children and had continued their work helping their fellow countryman. Right after the quake we contacted them and they had already started searching for villages that had not yet been visited by the government. In fact the three villages that we started working with them have still not seen any government officials. I traveled with Punam to visit two villages that we were engaged in. Kavre and a Leper Village named Shanti Ghriha.
At Kavre I found people in a cheerful attitude as it was April and the weather was nice. They had abandoned their unstable homes and were living in simple structures that we supplied the materials for and helped them build. These 10 x 15’ shelters were better than the alternative of nothing yet they had worked hard to make them homelike with many having families of 4 living in them. Yogdan Foundation, Punum’s organization had purchased a brick machine so they could use the local dirt and mix it with concrete to make a cheap but strong brick. Starting with the most-needy the work to rebuild homes will be starting with or without the help of the government. If we wait there is no telling when that support will come. We figure the cost of a new home around $7,000 and supposedly the government will supply $2,000 of that, so that leaves us with a cost of $5,000. The other village was inhabited by Lepers.
There I found the people very warm and there were families of all ages, some having lived there for 15 to 20 years. One older woman told me of the horrors of living through the shaking, wondering where her husband and son were alive. She was still shaken by the memory. I brought them medical supplies that had been donated and realized these people having lived through so much were still hoping for a better life.