Our Nepal Earthquake Response
OUR NEPAL EARTHQUAKE STRATEGY
Our team has been working in the slums of Nepal for several years now. They're appealing for funds to respond to the earthquake with their partners. Our Country Director immediately convened a coalition of leading local NGOs who work in the urban space in Kathmandu and we continue to coordinate closely with them, the government, and international partners. Beyond our role of facilitating connection between groups, we’ve taken the below three approaches in INCLUDED’s response to the earthquake. The majority of resources are focused around our core strength of the community center approach, this time adjusted to provide a nimble and responsive pop-up model.
Immediate Relief. We allocated approximately 25% of funding for the earthquake response to meet the immediate core needs in the days and weeks following the earthquake. We are now moving on to our second stage.
Pop-Up Community Centers. Playing to INCLUDED’s core strengths, we are launching low-tech pop-up community centers in the migrant and slum neighborhoods which have been hard hit by the earthquake. These community centers will initially focus on providing emergency education to children to provide them a sense of normalcy and to allow their parents to return to work to generate income for the family. We’ve set up four pop-up centers far and will launch two more in the coming weeks. The aim is to deepen the relationships with the communities and expand the services over time. Our standard model for INCLUDED community centers is to provide early childhood education, after school programs, life-vocational skills training, and a host of other community services.
Slums Strategy for Kathmandu. This earthquake has provided some white space. Communities will be rebuilt. We will continue our conversations with government and leading organizations to promote an overarching strategy for the migrant slums of Kathmandu as the city gets pieced back together.
Why is INCLUDED raising money for Nepal? We’re responding to the earthquake in Nepal because the devastation was widespread and we have close engagement with many communities. More than 8,000 people have died, and thousands of lives have been impacted. INCLUDED has established a number of community centers in migrants slums and have helped thousands of migrants gain education, healthcare, and access to the city they would not otherwise have had. We are concerned about the well-being of everyone who has been affected by this tragedy, yet we also want to ensure that people in the most marginalized communities are receiving adequate aid and attention. We’re here to fill those gaps and to partner with relief organizations in facilitating their response to these marginalized communities.
Who is leading the relief efforts in Kathmandu? Our relief efforts are being coordinated by our Country Director, Prakash Amatya, who has over 10 years of experience working in Nepal’s nonprofit sector. Before joining INCLUDED in 2012, Prakash served as Executive Director of NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation and Executive Director of the Centre for Integrated Urban Development. Prakash was also a key player in promoting the importance of access to freshwater and establishing the the Freshwater Action Network in South Asia. He is well acquainted with the issues of the urban poor. He has already taken initiative in establishing and leading the local coalition of NGO partners. Working with him is Sneh Rajbhandari and Matt Mueller. Sneh is INCLUDED’s Programs Manager who will be coordinating directly with our slum communities based on her several years of relationship with them. Matt is INCLUDED’s Design Director, and will be working with the team to come up with mid-long term shelter solutions for the victims of this disaster. In line with our approach to establishing community centers, we’re working with strong local partners on the ground in Nepal to respond to the disaster and provide emergency aid.
Where will the money go and what will it be used for? 100% of your donation to Nepal will go to relief and rehabilitation efforts on the ground. As stated above, we will roll out the funds in these three orders of increasing priority with an emphasis on pop-up community centers in migrant and slum neighborhoods.
Who are INCLUDED’s partners in Nepal and what experience do they have? Prakash Amatya has led in convening a coalition of local partners. We are working in collaboration with following core organizations: Center for Integrated Urban Development, Environment and Public Health Organizations, Environmental Conservation Camp Awareness, GUTHI, Lumanti Support Group for Shelter, Nepal Red Cross Society Mahaboudha Sub-Chapter, Kathmandu District, Society for Urban Poor, and the Urban Environment Management Society. Each partner has its own unique strengths and expertise, from health, to housing, to education. Together we make a strong and complete coalition. Please go to this website to learn more about the expertise of each of our partners, their most urgent needs, and the work that is happening on the ground. We are also working closely with international partners UNICEF, Oxfam, the Gates Foundation, and the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation as well as a coalition of leading local NGOs. In addition, we maintain strong relationships with the Ministry of Urban Development and UN Habitat.
INCLUDED’s focus is on migrant slums, but everyone in the city was affected, right? Yes. But INCLUDED serves those communities that often get missed or have difficulty accessing the resources they need from the city. During this time, our efforts will be focused exclusively on low income communities with an emphasis on migrant slum communities. We want to ensure they are receiving the essential resources and services they need in order to rebuild their lives. INCLUDED will assist in building and operating pop-up community centers in these low income and migrant neighborhoods that will act as hubs of support and stability. Our efforts are spread across the following neighborhoods in Kathmandu: Thankot, Machhegaon, Khokana, Sanogaon, Kalimati, Thecho, Chyasal, Thaiba, Gokarna, Sankhu, Sitapaila, Tokha, and Panga areas.
How do I know my donation to Nepal will be well spent? INCLUDED will provide periodic updates of our progress, the condition of the slums, and the condition of the Kathmandu relief effort in general. As we do with our community centers, we will track the number of communities and people served by our efforts.