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Firm Foundations

Married at 13 years old, Khadga had thought her future was secured, devoting her life to her husband, children, and parents-in-law. But her life changed in 1990, not long after she had given birth to her third child. Her youngest son Hari Krishna, now 32, was diagnosed with a mental health condition. Unable to cope with the social stigma, Khadga’s husband left the family and her parents-in-law started to distance themselves from them as well. Khadga was faced with single parenthood.
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When the devastating earthquake struck Nepal in April 2015, she lost her only asset ― her house in Rato Pairo in Kavre district, where she lived with her youngest son. For more than four years, Khadga and her son were able to live in the neighborhood’s temple courtyard, erecting a few plastic sheets as a temporary shelter. While the Nepal government had provided housing reconstruction grants to Khadga, the money was not enough to complete a house.
With help from Habitat supporters, however, the mother and son could finally have a decent place to live.
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“I am so proud and blessed to have a new home to call my own,” Khadga, the 62-year-old says. “I can’t believe so many people from around the world cares about me and my situation. My children worked alongside Habitat volunteers from various countries, from building the foundation to putting the roof together.”
Habitat for Humanity Singapore’s Ambassador Build volunteers and Global Village volunteers from Australia and Germany as well as the Legacy Build team from the United States of America were able to build hand in hand with Khadga and her family. Habitat for Humanity Deutschland was also able to raise additional funds to help her buy construction materials. Other funding and tithing support enabled Habitat Nepal to provide technical assistance.
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Patriarchal practices in Nepal means married women and her children are vulnerable to being pushed out of her marital home if she separates, divorces or widowed. To protect women like Khadga, Habitat Nepal is working with the government and local partners to ensure that all Habitat homes are constructed with a caveat; all homes built with Habitat’s assistance is registered with both the husband and wife’s name on the title. With secure tenure, Nepali women, whether married, single, divorced, separated, or widowed, can avoid eviction and continue to provide firm foundations for their children.
It’s amazing how little it costs to change a family’s prospect.

For as little as $5,000 you can fund a house in rural Nepal.

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