Our team came together after experiencing the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated central Nepal. Almost 9,000 people lost their lives and 590,000 homes were destroyed. In response, Nepali for Nepali formed. We began as a handful of locals and two foreigners dedicated to providing emergency aid to the thousands of Nepalese who lost their homes, loved ones, livestock and all sense of security. Within four months after the disaster, we were able to reach over 8,000 individuals across 8 districts with emergency aid and now we intend to continue this effort into the future by focusing on long-term housing construction. The situation in Nepal continues to be dire as the 2.3 million people who were displaced by the earthquake have yet to find permanent housing solutions. Using local resources and manpower we believe that our method of Nepali-to-Nepali collaboration can not only facilitate meaningful working relations with villagers, but also empower victims to rebuild their lives. Help us rebuild Nepal! Nepali for Nepali plans to build homes using an Interlocking Block (I.B.) system.
The Early Days – Disaster Relief
Nepali for Nepali began out of a necessity to rebuild this country in the most efficient and effective way possible. After the April 25th 7.8 earthquake, there were an overwhelming number of NGOs, INGOs, government agencies, charities, businesses, self-formed groups, and individual-based efforts to provide disaster relief to victims as fast as possible. It was complete chaos and as the crisis mentality began to dissipate our groups also had the time to reorganize and gain some clarity. Out of this amalgamation Nepali for Nepali was formed; united by a single vision of how to responsibly support Nepal.
Rather than “NGO” we prefer to describe our work as a “social movement.” We are not simply an NGO providing relief to those affected by the disaster, but a force to empower those devastated Nepalese. Our team consists of Nepali leaders who first enter the field with the intention to unify the villagers. In this state of crisis, the community mentality has been lost as people are forced to fight for their own survival and this mentality is the largest barrier to progress. Our leaders organize a village meeting and discuss the reality of the situation and clearly state the need for a community force. We create this force by bringing the locals together to rebuild their schools; we simply provide the necessary materials. The effect is huge as villagers become aware of their own capabilities.The next step is to conduct assessments and determine which families are in the most need of support. Usually, widows, the handicapped and members of the lowest caste make up this list. From there, our office administrators compile a list of materials to distribute and determine the cost of the trip. Then, the last leg of our project can begin – distribution.
The ultimate result of our missions, by working only through Nepali people, is to reinvigorate local leaders and make the villagers self-aware. The reality of the situation is that this country belongs to Nepali people and they are expert at surviving and adapting to their environment. They know how to use local materials in the most effective way and no foreigner can possibly do it better. We do not want villagers to become beggars, relying on foreign volunteers to build their homes and schools. This is not help, this is enslavement; making Nepalese dependent on foreign aid. We can do much better than this and it is our responsibility to do so; to help Nepali people in a positive and progressive way.