One year after the devastating earthquake in Nepal which claimed the lives of over 8,000 people and injured thousands more, I would like to express my thanks to your readers for their astounding generosity in response to the disaster.
Over the last year, Tearfund has worked with our partners on the ground to reach just over 320,000 people with relief supplies including food, shelter materials, psychosocial support, water and hygiene supplies, cash for seeds, and emergency shelter.
Just last Tuesday, we became the first international NGO to complete the construction of an earthquake-proof house. The first of 369 homes built by Tearfund partners, it was given to Thuli Maya Syangtan. Thuli is a widow in her late 70s, who has outlived each of her six children. Relying on her sister for survival, she says she lost all hope upon returning to her home on the day the earthquake struck last year. Now, she looks forward to welcoming visitors and has big plans for her new home: ‘I will smooth the surfaces with mud and make it good and level. I might put a sheet on the floor. I am very happy about this.’
In addition to rebuilding houses, Tearfund has also been working with partners across the region to help communities rebuild their livelihoods and businesses, including community-led agricultural groups, new safe spaces for children at risk of trafficking, and many church-led projects.
The donations of Northern Irish readers have made this possible. Tearfund’s Head of Asia, Steve Collins, writes: ‘Time and again I have seen the unstoppable power of local communities who have transformed their lives and the lives of those around them. Thank you to everyone who has donated. We will continue to support Nepal for as long as we are needed, there is still much to be done.’
To donate or to find out more about our work, please visit www.tearfund.org/nepal. You can also phone the Tearfund office on 028 90 730060.
Once again, we want to thank your readers for their incredible generosity - it is changing people’s lives.
• Tim Magowan is the NI Director of Tearfund, a Christian relief and development agency building a global network of churches to help eradicate poverty.