Since the devastating earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, we have been helping older people rebuild their homes, earn a living and see a doctor.
Tarka and Bir's heart-warming story
Pictured: Over 8,000 people died during the earthquake. Bir thought he had lost his wife, Tarka.
When a disaster strikes, older people are particularly vulnerable; they may have sight or mobility problems, or both. They may be unable to flee. Despite older people only making up 8% of Nepal's population, 28% of those who died were older.
'I had seen my wife go inside our house before the earth started shaking. So, I thought she had died,' 67-year-old Bir remembers, growing increasingly emotional recalling the harrowing memory.
Pictured: Over 600,000 people lost their homes during the earthquake. Bir and Tarka's home was completely destroyed.
'I started crying. When I finally saw her, relief flooded through me and I ran towards her and hugged her. After realising our house was destroyed, I started to cry again. But my wife gave me courage; she looked at me and said "we can build another house. At least we still have each other"'.
Pictured: Bir and Tarka - 'People don't just die from disasters like this one; they die from the helplessness that comes after the disaster has happened.'
In those first days and weeks, getting food, water and shelter was a priority.
Pictured: We gave Bir and Tarka blankets, a solar lamp, rice, materials for temporary shelter and some money so they could buy what they needed.
The money that we gave the couple was literally life-saving. Tarka explains: 'After the earthquake, there was a storm in Nepal. In the storm, my husband fell over and had to be hospitalised. The money we received paid for my husband’s medicine and hospital fees. It saved his life!'
In the months after the earthquake, we helped older people to re-build their homes, made sure they could earn a living, and provided essential healthcare.
Pictured: We helped Kanchi build a new home for herself and her grandchildren.
Pictured: We gave Kul some money to help him to keep running his shop and earn an income.
Pictured: We gave Saran some seeds and taught her how to grow different crops.
Pictured: We set up healthcare camps to treat vulnerable older people.
Pictured: We helped thousands of people rebuild their lives. 'I am very grateful for the support you have given me.I could not have coped without it. May you live 2,000 years!'
Our response in numbers:
- Over 40,000 people received healthcare through emergency health camps
- Over 30,000 people received eye-care and 5,000 received cataract operations
- 10,000 people received cash to buy food and medicine
- 5,000 received support to earn a living in the wake of the disaster
- 3,000 older people and their families received emergency shelter
- 2,000 older people received training to prepare them for potential future disasters
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