Displaced family evicted from camp finds new temporary home
We caught up with Madan Poudel, a volunteer camp manager we met in Kathmandu in Nepal three months ago.
“People have lost their homes and family members, but here (in the camp) they were taken care of and the children made friends,” Madan Poudel, 29, volunteer camp manager of Bode camp, in the Kathmandu valley told us.
We met Madan, a maths teacher back in October and his story featured in the Independent on Sunday. The displacement camp, which had been the home for many earthquake survivors for up to six months was just days away from closing and Madan was worried about the families he had helped who were returning to villages that had been completely destroyed in the devastating earthquakes of April and May 2015. There were still no signs or rebuilding work beginning and roads into the villages in Sindhupalchok district, where Madan is from, had also been destroyed making the journey back treacherous.
He was particularly worried about the Tamang family, also from Sindhupalchok, who had set up a small carpet weaving business within the camp and who faced an uncertain future with their homes destroyed and funding from the government to rebuild their homes slow to arrive. Read their story here. “When they go home, they don't know what they will find and they will need help,” Madan told us. “My school has been destroyed – when it is rebuilt I hope the head teacher will call me back to teach there again."
The value of education
We caught up with Madan recently and he told us that he was in Kathmandu and trying to find work. He was also collecting items for schools to send back to his village, Tatopani. He said: “After closing up the camp many people went back to the places in Sindhupalchok where they came from. But the Tamang family who were weaving carpets have re-located to another location (near to Kathmandu) and we have again provided them with an opportunity to earn an income.”
One of the mothers in the Tamang family had told us she wanted to stay near to Kathmandu as she head learned about the value of educating her children while staying at the camp and she wanted them to be able to go to schools in the area. The Tamang family were one of the many families that Action Against Hunger supported in the wake of the disaster which killed almost 9,000 people and damaged or destroyed almost 900,000 homes.
We were already operating mental health and psychosocial services alongside malnutrition programmes in the South of Nepal and within weeks of the second quake, we expanded our mental health provision to the affected areas as well as organising shelter, cash for work, food provision and rebuilding water points.
Written by Karen Attwood