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Cash-for-Work Project in Nepal

In response to the earthquake on April 25th that devastated Nepal, Action Against Hunger (ACF) has launched a cash-for-work project in the village of Kabilash, located in the Nuwakot district of Nepal. This project will provide beneficiaries with short-term employment to complete community work, such as clearing debris, in order to earn a small income to meet basic needs.

In the first stage, ACF’s cash for work program has provided cash and tools (such as hammers, shovels, etc.) to 90 people. This program is not only focused on recovering people’s livelihoods but is also a way to accelerate the local economy and reconstruct local infrastructure.

In the Nuwakot district of Nepal, people are paid 8,000 Nepalese rupees per month to help clean debris and restore public schools that were severely damaged by the earthquake. Giving cash to these individuals who have helped rebuild their community encourages neighbours to work together while also giving people the opportunity to make decisions and invest this money the way they see most fit.

ACF’s cash-for-work project in Kabilash is focused on rebuilding local schools like the one below. Here, Saraj Mirsha, 20, and his cousins Ujwal Khanal, 19, and Ramkumar, 11 look inside one of the badly damaged classrooms. The entire community is working with ACF to clean the debris and restore the building to get children back to school.

Meet Sita Bike – a 30 year old mother of three. Sita is happy to receive her first payment of 8,000 Nepalese rupees after working with her husband, Kamel, and her sister in law, Monida, to clean and restore the school in her village. While their main income normally comes from farming, Sita is happy to have the opportunity to participate in the cash-for-work project.

Idrabadur Bugatti, 65, also received his payment of cash from ACF. “I will bring the money for the benefit of the family, but also I would like to buy some medicines, as I have a skin disease and also in my eyes,” he explains while hitching his trousers to show his infected leg.

 The cash-for-work project is not only a way to provide aid to affected populations, but is also a way to empower those who are not ordinarily decision makers. For instance, we involve the entire community by targeting not only the people who are able to work like Sita, but also other families that are in need such as Idrabadur.

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