One month in a new home

4th April 2017

Chitra Maya Adhikari has been living in her Raleigh-built home for one month. She lives with her husband, her brother-in-law and her two sons. She also has two daughters who moved away to a nearby village after getting married.

The 2015 earthquake destroyed Chitra Maya’s previous house and immediately afterwards she and her family were living under tarpaulin sheets alongside their livestock.

The bedroom
The bedroom

When the initial meeting with Goreto Gorkha and Build Up Nepal (Raleigh’s partner organisations) was held within the village to decide who the beneficiaries would be, the other villagers unanimously thought Chitra Maya was among the most in need.

Chitra Maya said: “When I received the news I felt emotional because I didn’t feel I would ever be financially capable of owning such a house.” We could see how much it meant to her as she was tearful explaining this during the interview.

Chitra Maya’s husband is unable to work abroad (as a lot of the men in the village do) because he lost a toe due to an infection. This means their income is limited. Thanks to the generosity of her relatives in the village she was able to borrow the sufficient amount of money to buy the required materials to secure her home. Chitra Maya hopes she will be able to repay her loan by selling the vegetables she grows on her land. Her two sons will soon be able to contribute to the family finances as one is training to become a truck driver and the other is about to finish his education.

Interior shot of Chitra Maya's new home

Having helped during the construction of the house, Chitra Maya feels confident in its safety if there were to be another earthquake. Knowing this, she intends to live in the house for the rest of her life. She says whoever looks after her for her last days will inherit the property.

“I feel very grateful towards Raleigh as an organisation and I have a lot of admiration towards the volunteers, as they are keen to integrate in the community and try to learn the Nepali language.”

She says she can relate to our hard work ethic as she has relatives who are full-time labourers working abroad in Dubai. She mentioned her concern that our parents might be worried that we are working too hard and not being fed enough. But we assured her that this was not the case and that we’re enjoying the generous portions of dal bhat very much!

Our chat with Chitra Maya was particularly special for Flo and I; it made us more proud of the good Raleigh has achieved in Nepal working alongside the villager communities, Goreto Gorkha and Build Up Nepal.

Words: Flo and Sarah M
Translation: Preity
Photos: Flo

What’s next?
16 April – end of Phase 3; return to training centre
18 April – ‘endex’ (end of Expedition); Venturers depart
22 April – Volunteer Managers depart

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Youth Economic Empowerment Nepal