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Rebuilding Lives after the Earthquakes

April 26, 2017

Two years after the devastating Nepal earthquake, World Education Nepal country director Helen Sherpa, reflects on how women are recovering.

In an article published on NewsDeeply's Women and Girls Hub, as well as an interview in Humanosphere.org, Sherpa highlights World Education’s success using microfinance to help women regain autonomy in post-earthquake Nepal.

In April 2015, people across Nepal faced trauma and turmoil after a violent series of earthquakes destroyed homes, livelihoods, and families. After the dust cleared, thousands were dead and millions were left homeless. Women who had previously worked with World Education to develop financial literacy and launch entrepreneurial efforts were forced to start again with nothing.

In the wake of the earthquake, many governmental and nongovernmental organizations offered aid to affected people—tents, blankets, and sacks of rice. World Education took a different approach, choosing to provide groups of women with small loans to invest in revitalizing business ventures and rebuilding livelihoods. The loans, and the peer groups formed around channeling the funds, have given women a sense of security and comfort for the first time since the earthquake’s devastation. With help from the microloans and their savings groups, women were able to advocate for the provision of essential governmental resources like health services, repay previous loans, and lean on each other for support.

In both the article and the interview, Helen Sherpa underscores the resilience of Nepali women and the importance of investing in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Read more about World Education’s work in Nepal and post-earthquake recovery stories. Learn more about World Education's relief work immediately post-earthquakes.