What images come to mind when you think of a disaster? Search and rescue teams pulling people from the rubble? Relief camps filled with displaced families receiving aid from international organizations? These are the typical images we see in the media. However, they misrepresent the reality that the vast majority of people are rescued and helped by their fellow community members after a disaster.
Many people in rural communities in Nepal have been living in cramped conditions in temporary shelters for the last two years, so Preity decided to volunteer to help build earthquake resilient homes for earthquake victims.
Preity said, “After the devastating earthquakes hit Nepal in 2015, communities near the epicentre of the earthquake suffered a massive loss of lives, houses and livelihoods. Many people from the epicentre district of Gorkha needed support to start their life again, as they are not financially strong enough to build a new house for themselves.
According to Iran Red Crescent, at least 328 people have been killed and 3,950 injured. In Iraq, the Iraqi Red Crescent report that nine people have been killed and more than 425 injured.
In a crisis that killed 8,790 people and forced more than 700,000 into poverty, national UN Volunteers were mobilized to deliver critical assistance in affected sites in Nepal.
At the age of 25, Thakur earns his living as a porter, commuting several hours from his home in Nuwakot to the inner cities of Nepal, carting heavy goods over great distances.
On 25 April 2015, as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, Thakur found himself running for two hours until he reached his family and youngest daughter who was severely injured. He rushed her to the nearby hospital, where, despite his efforts, she sadly passed away.
The earthquake, which hit Nepal on 25 April 2015 with multiple aftershocks, brought about widespread destruction across the country and resulted in 8,790 deaths, 22,300 injuries and 755,549 houses that were either damaged or completely destroyed.
In coordination with UNDP experts on demolition, UN Volunteers undertook the structural assessment of public and private buildings damaged by the earthquake, including schools, health posts and monasteries.
Within the first three weeks after the earthquake, UNV mobilized five UN Volunteers to immediately support the work of UN agencies after the earthquake. The rest of UN Volunteers were deployed during the three months after the disaster. They all worked directly with the communities and the people who suffered the devastation of the earthquake, focusing mainly on reaching families, especially women and children who lost not only their homes but also their livelihoods, helping build their capacity and supporting strategies for economic empowerment.
Women volunteered in Chandragiri, Kathmandu and demonstrated their vital role with their implementation of non-structural earthquake mitigation measures. As part of the USAID/OFDA funded programme Frontline, the residents in Chandragiri identified earthquakes as the top threat in the community, and non-structural mitigation as one of the priority actions to be implemented.
The volunteer response mechanisms were intensified to support regions affected by several earthquakes that shook Mexico in September 2017. Collection centers were set up and supported to coordinate the restoration of family links nationally.
During the month of September, 236 tons of humanitarian aid were received in collection centers located in 16 states of the country – aid that benefited more than 20,000 people.
Rapid mobilization of UN Volunteers