From refugee camp to thriving village
Approaching the valley of Dhading, there is a view that catches your eye, a sea of glistening tin roofs glimmer in the sunshine where two years previously there were only dusty hills covered with orange and blue tarpaulin tents.
The resilient people who now live here come from a remote village close to the Tibet border in the north of Nepal. The 2015 earthquake caused a devastating landslide to rip through their village, injuring many and destroying homes, fields and pastures. There was nothing left of their village so they set off on foot in search of somewhere to live. 170 families started their journey with only the clothes on their back and after walking for a week, they arrived at a barren hillside determined to make it their new home.
When Stand by Me heard of their plight, we decided to act by providing the families with emergency aid. But we knew we could not abandon them, so we commenced building permanent homes and thanks to people’s kind donations we have transformed this refugee camp into a thriving village with:
170 earthquake resistant homes. One small church. Numerous small businesses. And we’re proud that 24 babies have been born.
David Spurdle (Executive Director), Fay Garrett (Nepal Project Manager) and a team of Stand by Me sponsors had the opportunity to visit Dhading early this year and were joyfully invited into the homes of the grateful families. One of the homes belonged to Sapana Tamang.
Sapana had left her home village along with the other families and walked all the way to Dhading with her husband and new born baby Isma. Living under tarpaulin on a windswept hillside, Sapana could have felt helpless but instead endeavoured to help others around her. She established a women’s group to help the women decide how to manage the limited resources of water, sanitation and food and supported those with new born babies. Sapana has helped her community despite having lost everything. It was a joy to see her new home and the security it has given her young family.
Each new home is a lifeline to a family who thought they had lost everything. The tin walls and roofs provide security and safety but more than that, they are practical evidence of God’s love and that the people of Dhading are not forgotten.