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Youth in Charge

From walking on air to crashing to the ground, 28-years old, Nita Ghatani, experienced a whole gamut of emotions in the course of helping an older woman as dear to her as a mother. It was in March of 2019 when Nita, a strong supporter of the Habitat Young Leaders Build, learned of Dhamosari’s plight. The older woman was among thousands of villagers in Baluwatar, Biratamod, who were hit by flash floods in 2017. Unable to afford any repairs, the widowed Dhamosari continued to live in her badly damaged house.
“I felt I had to do something to help her,” says Nita. “After learning about ‘amma’s’ (mother in Nepali) story, I talked to the Ward Commissioner on how we can help her.”
A few days later, Nagendra Prasad Sangraula, Ward Commissioner for Birtamode-2, and Nita organized a meeting with all the ward members where she presented her plan to help Dhamosari rebuild her home. Initially, not all the ward members were convinced, but she persevered. It paid off when all the members agreed to help, and she was able to raise 50,000 Nepali rupees (US$500) to build a new house.
“Seeing the zeal and energy of Nita to help someone in need moved me,” Sangraula remarks. “We need more young people to actively participate in helping people so that our country can be better for tomorrow.”
I felt I had to do something to help her. After learning about 'amma's' story, I talked to the Ward Commissioner on how we can help her.
Nita quickly got down to work. Through Habitat for Humanity Nepal, she garnered the support of its partner organization Sahara Nepal in construction expertise as well as volunteer mobilization for the build.
Together with 18 Habitat Young Leaders Build volunteers, Nita broke ground for the new house in April 2019 under the supervision of Habitat Nepal, and it’s partner staff. They also started digging the foundation. “As the volunteers started pouring concrete into the trench to build the foundation, I felt like I was walking on air,” says Nita.
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Unfortunately, the construction didn’t go as planned. Before the wall could be built, Nita and the volunteers started running short of money. The youth volunteers, however, were not about to give up easily. They were able to gather construction resources in a very short period. Spurred by her fellow volunteers’ fortitude, Nita met with ward members again and persuaded them to provide additional 100,000 rupees to complete the house.
“It wasn’t easy to convince ward members to give us additional money, but we did it!” Nita exclaims.
With the additional resources and funds, the volunteers weaved treated bamboos to build walls which were then plastered. Sahara Nepal provided bamboo from their treatment center in Jhapa to construct a bamboo truss for the roof.
“Once we finished building the house, we decided to paint the house yellow,” says Nita. “Painting the house yellow has made it appear bigger, just like the hearts of all the people that helped us build a home for ‘amma’.”
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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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