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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nepal: Building Stronger Homes And Livelihoods

Photo Credit: Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services is one of the many organizations that responded to the Nepal earthquake disaster one year ago. The following is their report on their response. Please see our One Year Later guide for more information on how Catholic Relief Services and many other charities responded to this catastrophe.

The catastrophic earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, not only claimed thousands of lives but also toppled more than 500,000 homes and businesses. There is a massive demand—and urgent need—to rebuild.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, it is now one year later and Catholic Relief Services’ work continues, training skilled and unskilled workers in earthquake-resistant construction techniques. Among those we’re helping is Jyam Bahadur Thapa Magar, 55, a seasoned construction worker. He has been building homes in Bungkot, Gorkha district since he was a teenager.

“I learned how to build houses from the elders. I learned by seeing them working,” he says. “I made houses that same way my whole life until I took training from CRS.”

What Jyam has learned has changed his approach to building. He is forming walls differently, using stones to strengthen corners and digging deeper and wider foundations that will help the homes be more resilient to future shocks. His favorite part of what he’s learned is seeing the homes he’s built using the new construction methods adding, “It will be strong in any earthquake. That is the most important thing for all houses, including mine.”

-Jennifer Hardy, Regional Information Officer, Asia, for Catholic Relief Services

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