31st October 2017

A new home for Manmaya

88-year-old Gurkha widow Manmaya Ghale was married to the late Rifleman Tekbahadur Ghale. Her husband was a World War Two veteran who first signed up to fight in the British Army in 1940.

After her husband passed away she moved in with their daughter Indramaya in Barpak, a busy town in a remote part of Gorkha district. Barpak was the epicentre of the devastating earthquakes back in April 2015.

Earthquake terror in Nepal

When the quakes stuck Manmaya was stood near her house. When the shaking continued, her granddaughter Yansari came to find her and took her to more open ground.

“I thought I might die at that moment,” says Manmaya. “I wondered what had become of my home. I could see so much damage everywhere.”

As she approached her house after the initial tremor, she could see that the roof had fallen in. Later on that day, an aftershock brought the remains crashing down on top of her belongings.

Our medical staff performing health checks on Manmaya in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes

The shelter that Manmaya’s family built to live in after the earthquakes destroyed her home

A new home and a new lease of life

In the wake of the destruction, the family made a makeshift shelter to keep them dry over the monsoon season We provided them with emergency medical care and a cash grant as well as extra emergency supplies. Eventually, we were able to begin work on rebuilding their home on the ground where the old house had stood.

“I was very excited. I had worried for so long about how to build a home so this was a huge relief.”

Manmaya outside her home after it was completed in 2016

Work was soon underway and the family moved into their new, earthquake-resistant home in May 2016.

Like many people in Nepal fears still linger in Manmaya’s mind that disaster could strike again at any moment. “Nothing feels indestructible anymore,” she tells us. However, she is delighted with her new home.

“Without help, I couldn’t imagine building a hut, let alone a house like this. I’m very happy, I feel warm and comfortable here. I want to stay alive long enough to enjoy it!”

Through our financial aid, we are committed to ensuring that Manmaya can enjoy her new home for many years to come. Every month she receives 10,500 Nepalese Rupees (£81) as part of our Welfare Pension programme. The scheme offers a vital lifeline to those who aren’t eligible to receive the standard Army pension.

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