The days and weeks following the first quake were chaotic. Heifer Nepal assessments showed that more than 11,000 participants’ homes had collapsed and another 21,000 families’ homes sustained damage. More than 3,000 Heifer animals had died. They immediately mobilized to provide relief support to affected families.
“This time we felt like we had to do something. We’d been working in these areas for so many years. It was like it had happened inside the family,” said Neena Joshi, Heifer Nepal’s director of programs.
Because of its reach and influence, the staff were able to effectively and efficiently mobilize local governments, stakeholders and our self-help groups in the relief distribution process. Members volunteered in the distribution and registration processes, while the chairperson from each Heifer self-help group ensured that no family missed out.
During these relief efforts, Heifer assessed conditions for next steps and ultimately established a fund for communities. $2.5 million has been distributed in loans to the communities that received the most significant damage. The fund is revolving, meaning that participants will repay their loans while keeping the money in the community, boosting the local economies. Farmers have used the funds to build improved livestock sheds, purchase animals including goats, chicks, oxen and water buffalo, and begin rebuilding their own homes.
The earthquake damaged much, but not the spirit of our project participants. And your support was integral in helping them maintain their outlook.
“If we had not joined the group we would not have been able to come together to rebuild our lives. It is our luck that we survived this disaster and that after surviving, we received support from Heifer. We’re lucky,” said Januka Bogoti, a member of the Pragatasil Women’s Group from Tupche village.
Devi Rijal, who lost her home in the quake, took that sentiment one step further. “Because we live on there will be hope,” she said.
we leverage the power of local people and knowledge, working together toward a common goal.
on improved environmentally-friendly farming methods, we help farmers see improved incomes that lead to a better quality of life.
we are making large-scale improvements to rural livelihoods by empowering farmers and helping them gain better access to the market.
we help women develop leadership skills and become empowered so that they can have access to greater opportunities such as education and entrepreneurship.