Action Against Hunger Canada Team Member Victoria in Nepal during the Holi Festival, April 2016.
Shortly before the one year anniversary of the Nepal earthquake, our ACF Canada Senior Program Manager Victoria visited the country to provide technical support for a SMART survey being conducted in the affected areas to measure the levels of malnutrition one year later. We asked Victoria about her visit and the rebuilding process in the communities.
Tell us about why you went to Nepal.
“The main purpose of my trip was to provide technical support in the SMART methodology to upcoming nutrition surveys to be conducted in earthquake-affected areas one year after the earthquake. I led a 7-day training in SMART for survey managers coming from many different humanitarian organizations.”
Victoria with the participants in her SMART Survey Manager Training. April 2016
How is the re-building process?
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go outside of Kathmandu to the rural areas that were severely affected by the earthquake. From what I saw in Kathmandu, things are moving again and there isn’t any big debris left. A number of the historic sites collapsed and some have already started being rebuilt. Despite a year passing since the first earthquake, many families are still in tents and temporary shelters.”
A historic site in Kathmandu, Nepal. April 2016
What was something that stood out to you from your time in Kathmandu?
“One thing that definitely resonated was how family-oriented and resilient the Nepalese people are. After the earthquake happened, people left their jobs and homes to go back to take care of their family members who had lost everything. Even today with steady jobs, a number of families are still living in temporary shelters through the cold of the winter months without a clear timeframe when they will be able to rebuild or find another home.”
Did you get to do anything besides work while you were there?
“On one of the few days off I did have while in Nepal, I experienced my first Holi festival, which is the Hindu spring festival also known as the festival of colours. It was amazing to see the entire city “play” Holi where individuals play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. You often encounter children with water guns or suddenly get soaked while walking down the street with flying coloured water-filled balloons thrown from neighbouring terraces. And really, everyone was playing: rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders.”
A child enjoying the Holi festival in Kathandu, Nepal. April 2016.