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Uganda Healthcare Christian Fellowship is a member of the Micah Network

 
Samantan - Nepal

Testimony from Nepal

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22 May 2015

Long-term development saves lives, sometimes in unexpected ways

Please continue to pray for the nation of Nepal. In the aftermath of the recent earthquakes, Micah Nepal is actively involved in relief and recovery efforts through local churches and organisations.

This testimony was provided by TEAR Australia, a founding member of Micah. It was originally published on TEAR’s forTomorrow campaign website here.

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In the wake of the April 25 earthquake in Nepal, staff from PFR (Partnership for Rehabilitation – an INF project supported by TEAR) have been trying to make contact with clients living in affected project areas to see if they are okay. Many report having lost houses, animals, livelihoods – everything. Many others remain out of contact.

Samantan is a PFR client who sustained a spinal cord injury many years ago and therefore uses a wheelchair to move around his community. He lives in Gorkha, one of the worst affected districts in Nepal. Last November, PFR arranged for a ramp and wheelchair accessible toilet to be built at Samantan’s house. Many houses in Nepal are impossible to access by a wheelchair. In the hilly areas, houses are also often built on a slope, with very little flat land around them.

When asked how he was, Samantan replied: “Well, my house is badly damaged, but I am very happy.” Why? “I was alone at home (when the earthquake struck), but because PFR built me a ramp, I was able to get out of the house and I am alive.” Samantan had three small children with him at the time and was also able to help them get out of the house. He is now staying with his family in the buffalo shed, which has remained upright. Although Samantan and his family have enough food, he is concerned that when the monsoon comes, their shelter will not be safe to live in.

After talking to Samantan, the PFR staff reflected on the significance of working alongside people with disabilities to be independent and resilient. “We don't expect our work of building ramps and making homes accessible to be life saving in that way... but what a great testimony to the importance of the work.”

International Nepal Fellowship (INF Nepal), a TEAR Australia partner and member of Micah, work in the areas of health and community development in the western and mid-western regions of Nepal. INF Nepal is a Christian non-government organisation aiming to “demonstrate God’s love and concern, and restore people’s relationships with each other, so they can live dignified lives to the full”.