"After the Quake" work for CORE
Life changed for most people in central and eastern Nepal on April 25, 2015 when a powerful earthquake (measured at 7.9) shook apart their homes, schools, public buildings, and for some, their livelihoods. The ground continued shaking with over 100 aftershocks for the next two days.
All of us associated with CORE offer our most sincere condolences and prayers for everyone who has suffered deaths and losses in their families and among their friends.
CORE has had ongoing programs in Nepal since 2006. Being in Nepal, it was quickly apparent that while we should provide some immediate relief to groups where we have worked in the past, we should focus on longer-term activities to help sustain the lives and livelihoods of the survivors of this natural disaster.
Thus, we developed a new working relationship with a small community service group in one of the hardest hit districts to the northeast of Kathmandu, which was the epicentre of over one-third of all the, so far, more than 400 aftershocks. Every house, school, and building in this area has been destroyed so people have lost everything. CORE is also supporting and expanding its current activities in the Kathmandu Valley.
Education for the Very Poor
CORE continues to support, financially and technically, Society to the Urban Poor (SOUP) to operate three non-formal education centres for kids whose parents are too poor to send them to school. After ten months, the kids can write an exam to determine in which class they could start school. CORE provides scholarships for 83 very poor kids to attend school. All three of the child centres resumed operating and our scholarship students are back at school with the start of the new school year.
Saving Credit for Livelihood
As well, we continue to support SOUP to conduct saving-credit activities (micro-finance) for very poor and vulnerable people in Kathmandu. Most of these people fled to the city after losing fields, homes, and livelihoods due to floods, droughts, family disputes, or during the conflict. Our saving program is designed especially to enable the poorest people to really participate and improve their livelihoods since it is flexible to accommodate whatever they are able to save. With over 300 current members, we anticipate that this program will have to grow in the coming months as members of the groups bring family members who have suffered in the earthquakes for refuge in the city.
Rural Community Support
Support to the Shree Fashelung Community Service (FSS) group in Dolakha district to assist residents by distributing hygiene and sanitation kits to every family (1,250) to prevent the spread of disease. In Kathmandu, CORE directly purchased the items for the kits including soap, buckets, and towels. Through FSS, we provided ‘new mother packages’ to the local women’s group to distribute and a small fund to help pregnant women get health care at this very vulnerable time. After the monsoon, we will start support the community requested including training for the women’s group and items for FSS to help people resettle after they had to move due to landslides caused by the ongoing aftershocks and monsoon rains.
Skills for Poor Women
For five years, we have been supporting training for groups, mostly of women, in the rural villages of the Kathmandu Valley to grow vegetables organically for their families consumption and to sell to improve livelihoods. Some of these villages were completely destroyed in the earthquake, so CORE has provided tin roofing sheets for 54 of the most affected families to construct temporary shelters before the arrival of the monsoon.