Rebuilding Communities in Gorkha
In 2016, PHASE Worldwide and PHASE Nepal implemented a five year development project in Gorkha, aimed at rebuilding two remote communities which were devastated by the 2015 earthquake. The ‘Rebuilding Communities’ Project, supported by The Big Lottery Foundation, has now come to an end. However, it has been incredibly successful, directly benefitting over 6,000 people and empowering community members through improved skills, knowledge and services.
The project aimed to practically rebuild the communities in all aspects of their lives, supporting them to “rise from the rubble to the sustainable livelihoods”. Before the intervention, these areas were highly affected by the disaster and communities had limited hopes and opportunities for a fair start. Situated a three day walk away from the nearest road, the villages were left behind and had no access to immediate support from both the government of Nepal and wider non-Governmental organisation (NGO) sector.
The project therefore was implemented with intensive activities in heath, livelihoods, education, reconstruction, and institutional strengthening of local bodies. Here are just some of the fantastic achievements we’ve seen as a result of our Rebuilding Communities Project:
The project supported the strengthening of government health post services by guaranteeing quality services as well as handling any health emergencies. Over the project period, more than 39,860 cases were handled by the project supported health staff. Furthermore, the team worked to improve antenatal care services and increase the number of institutional deliveries. Over the past five years, there were 296 safe deliveries which were conducted by the project staff.
The project team has been “the agent of change” in spreading knowledge on child immunisation and physically supporting government initiatives of child immunisation. During the project period of a total of 2,515 children under five were vaccinated by the project supported staff. In addition, 208 mothers’ group meetings were held during the project period, reaching more than 200 mothers group members.
Another crucial element of our Rebuilding Communities Project was girls empowerment. Before the project started, less than 50% of girls would stay in school past the age of 12, and would instead choose to get married and start a family. Our Girl’s Empowerment Programme involved training young girls, boys and schoolteachers about progressive thinking and teaching methods which would enable girls to feel more confident and empowered both in school and at home.
A key part of the project was to establish sustainable livelihoods. The community members whose only livelihood was subsistence farming, had to cope with complete loss of properties after the earthquakes, facing further risk of being pushed into poverty. While people were rebuilding their houses, the project worked to rebuild their livelihoods. The project has successfully engaged and trained local farmers in modern farming techniques, using improved seeds and effective use of plastic green houses in farming seasonal and off seasonal vegetables. PHASE had supported a total of 1,295 farmers in Kashigaun and 782 farmers in Keraunja, enabling them to set up their own home gardens, produce, eat, and sell vegetables.
The rebuilding communities project has been successful in establishing sustainable livelihoods whilst empowering community members. It has directly supported 1,230 of the most vulnerable families and helped to empower girls, improve access to quality education and healthcare, restore public infrastructure and increase food security. Although the project has now come to an end, its impact will make a lasting difference to the communities in Gorkha for many years to come.