End of Year Goal in Sight: Help Rebuild a Nepalese Village Damaged in the 2015 Earthquake

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Sangsangai, a US-based non-profit, is in the final stretch of funding the complete rebuilding of the village of Rainaskot, Nepal. Please consider a donation in any amount to help the organization reach their end of the year funding goal to complete the rebuilding of 15 houses and 2 community buildings.

Sangsangai has set an end of year goal to compete the funding necessary for the rebuilding of Rainaskot, Nepal. With less than $40,000 left to go to reach complete funding, the desire is to have building complete on all of the homes before the truly inclement winter weather sets in.

This quest began in 2015. In late April 2015, a catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. Every home in Rainaskot, a small village located on top of a mountain ridge in eastern Lamjung, was severely damaged. Every home suffered cracked and collapsed walls. For three weeks after the earthquake, the villagers lived together in a temporary shelter in an open field.

Bibek Kumar Pandit, a Nepalese native, was abroad in India at the time of the quake. He immediately began trying to contact friends and family. Natasha Wozniak, a Fulbright scholar who had lived in Nepal and considers it home to her heart, reached out to Bibek upon hearing the news of the earthquake. They immediately began to collect funds to help the families they knew in the smaller villages.

A week after the earthquake, thanks to funds collected both in India and in the US, Bibek was able to bring basic relief supplies including tents, medicines, staple foods, and sanitary materials to Nepal. As he traveled, he realized that the needs of the smaller villages would not be easy for large organizations to address. Bibek remembers, "...we reached many hard hit areas and the only thing I found was people have not given up, they had hope on getting recovered soon. While delivering supplies I was asked by many for building their homes as they had nothing left."

He and Natasha formed what was then called Fund for Lamjung, (now called Sangsangai, "together" in Napali), with plans to help rebuild Rainaskot in the most literal way, house by house.

The Organization
From the beginning with two friends united in love for the country and people of Nepal, the organization, Sangsangai, has evolved and now has non-profit status to best support the success of its mission.

Sangsangai is currently building 15 permanent houses and 2 community buildings in Rainaskot.

The organization is guided by the following principles: First and foremost, building earthquake-resistant homes using techniques appropriate to the location and environment; Providing comfortable and dignified homes to the villagers, that are aligned with their needs and lifestyle; Using the funds raised for the rebuilding effort and materials with transparent reporting; Being resourceful in the use of locally available materials; Using the creativity and ingenuity of locals to create the plan for reconstruction; Giving the villagers the last word in any decision; Providing long-term support for the village in the development of tourism and economic growth; The villagers provide a contribution to the rebuilding of their homes to give them a sense of ownership.

Natasha Wozniak, co-founder and head of US operations, says it well: "We have a responsibility to the donors that fund the project, but we also have a deep responsibility to ensure that the way we conduct the work--from concept through building-- truly serves the needs of the people it is meant to benefit."

Villagers continue to have input in every stage of the project, from the decisions about which families would have their homes rebuilt first, to choosing between several earthquake-resistant house designs, to paying for the labor for rebuilding in order to feel true ownership.

Status and Funding Goal
Since June 2015 the fund has raised over $119,000 US, with 83% of all funds raised going directly toward rebuilding the village. The funding goal to complete the construction in Rainaskot is US$150,000. Each house costs US$6000, including transportation of the materials (many locally sourced). Every donation matters. Each $100 donation buys 625 bricks.

Please Donate
The fund is seeking individual donations of any amount as well as corporate support to reach their end of the year goal. Sangsangai is a registered 501c3 charitable organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

The work of the organization has been covered by local press including The Park Slope Stoop. http://bklyner.com/park-slope-neighbor-raises-80k-to-rebuild-nepali-villages-after-earthquake-parkslopestoop/ and multiple outlets in Nepal: https://youtu.be/cK0PmFY8hmY.

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Natasha Wozniak
Fund for Lamjung, Nepal
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