What Sustainable Recovery Looks Like at Mahila

The 2015 earthquake in Nepal was devastating.  

The women we work with and their families have suffered heartbreaking losses, yet they continue to move forward.

There are many reasons for this but we want to highlight a few that we believe make a real difference in recovery.  

LOCALLY LED RECOVERY 

In the villages where we work, Sabita Aryal (pictured here with the women and girls who are in our program) is a lifelong resident of Kathmandu, Nepal and has led Mahila's initiatives for nearly a decade.  Since the earthquake, her organization Eco-Organic Nepal has worked tirelessly to identify and address what is needed most, procuring it as local as possible to reduce costs and improve economic recovery.

SUSTAINABLE PROGRAMS

Over the past 18 months, she has initiated a sewing cooperative and together with Dina our educator, have taught women how to make dresses and sanitary pads.  Women learn new skills, earn a living wage and address a critical health issue for women + girls in rural Nepal (where in some cases it is still common practice to live in menstruation huts or cow sheds during their period).

ADDRESSING ROOT CAUSES

It isn't enough to simply provide aid, and sustainability isn't only about economics.  Community surveying facilitated by local partners engages local women in order to understand the root causes of gender inequality, poverty, health disparities and more. Our discoveries help us collaboratively craft programs that are culturally appropriate, beneficial to the local economy, and that sustainably impact these challenges.

There are many things that go into recovery.  It is a long road.  But we believe the three factors listed here are mission critical to any successful recovery.

What do you believe is needed for successful recovery after disasters?