Samaritan’s Purse is providing sturdy structures to help residents of the Himalayan nation
To reach 62-year-old Balram Bhujel’s new Samaritan’s Purse shelter during the monsoon season, park at the bottom of the mountain, walk over the bridge, step across stones in the river, hike a short distance up a rocky road, and take a path through some woods. When you pass the waterfall, you’re almost there.
His land looks over a valley of rice paddies. Also visible are multiple landslides—due to the initial earthquake, hundreds of aftershocks, and the persistent rains.
Balram’s shelter—made from iron sheets fastened onto rounded steel pipes, secured with wire, and finished with tarpaulin on either side—sits just feet from the remains of his old home.
“I have lived here in my house, which was collapsed,” he said. “The shelter has also been the form of a house right now for me because it is protecting from winds, heat, and light.”
Samaritan’s Purse has made shelters a top priority of our work in Nepal. We are providing materials and construction training to 25,000 families in need—most living in remote, mountain villages. These sturdy shelters are helping protect them from the elements while they rebuild their lives.
“Shelter is a key point right now,” staff member Daniel Mendies said.
Daniel has helped coordinate dozens of distributions since the earthquake—from food to relief supplies to shelters. He believes the resiliency of the survivors encourages our team’s work.
“For the most part—from the children to all ages—they smile when they have nothing left, and their smile brings a smile to anybody’s heart,” he said. “It’s not because I’m Nepali, but I do love the people of Nepal.”
“It Is Safe”
Balram, his sons, and his brothers attended our training session to learn how to most effectively use the materials and gain knowledge on earthquake-resistant construction. Afterward, they built the shelter together.
Inside is a new bed Balram fashioned out of wood from the forest, a jerry can and hygiene items from Samaritan’s Purse, and other belongings he has made or salvaged. Although he is still afraid of another earthquake, the new shelter has alleviated some of that fear.
“It has helped me a lot,” he said. “When an earthquake attacks, I don’t think this house will collapse. It is safe.”
Here to Serve
In addition to shelters, Samaritan’s Purse is helping earthquake survivors by providing clean water, hand-washing stations, and latrines for schools; winter supplies for families; and other assistance to help people recover from the disaster.
As the countrywide fuel shortage and colder weather create additional challenges for our teams, we remain committed to displaying God’s love and faithfulness through our work.
“We are here to serve the people of Nepal,” Daniel said. “All things are possible through Christ who strengthens us, right? So for me, that’s what gives me my strength. Nothing is impossible.”