Nearly two years after the April 2015 twin earthquakes shook Nepal, Subhadra looks at the plot of land she donated to the villagers of Kumari where the community’s original center once stood. Though her heart cried when it fell, today she smiles, knowing that soon a new more resilient center will rise.
The process of rebuilding a new permanent center continues to gain momentum thanks to a generous grant from ASB Nepal. Along the way, the villagers have collaborated with ASB engineers and learned ways to rebuild using Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction approaches, to ensure that the needs of the most at-risk groups, including women, children and youth, older persons, and persons with disabilities, are integrated into the new Nuwakot READ Center’s design.
Soil testing on the site of the original READ center is now complete.
In the background, the Temporary Library continues to serve the needs of the community during reconstruction.
Resolve in a Community Center Restored
In many of Nepal’s rural districts, the opportunity to regularly gather, learn, and connect beyond geographic isolation can impact generations. READ Centers are such an integral part of the community that after the quake, the villagers of Kumari chose to put up a temporary center made of clay and bamboo even before rebuilding their homes.
“We were in darkness, but the READ center takes the community to the light. In this community, there are people from 1 to 100 years old,” said one village elder. “Our eyes were closed, but now they are open.” Thanks to the READ Center, many in Kumari and nearby communities have learned to read and write, gained new skills, and empowered themselves. Thanks to Subhadra’s generosity, the villager’s resilience, and local partners’ support, more generations will continue to do the same.
For all the lives she has helped changed, Subhadra merely describes her donation as a service and says it was her wish that her neighbors and especially the youth, receive the opportunities she herself had waited a lifetime to enjoy.
Though frail as she recovers from a recent illness, Subhadra’s optimism is as strong as her resolve. When the new READ Center’s doors open again, she says with a smile, “Everyone is welcome. “