The funds for these shelters was donated directly to Portal. We prepared the shelter kits and distributed them in locations where our staff had personal connections and could best determine the need.
The funds for these shelters were raised by local and international organizations. These groups found villages with demonstrated needs and came to us. Portal provided shelter kits, training, and tools to empower organizations to make a difference.
Bhotsipa Teendhara is a village in the Sindhupalchok region of Nepal. Only 75km from the capital, it takes over 5 hours for a truck to cross the beaten roads from Kathmandu.
The devastating earthquake took the lives of 22 villagers. It left the rest of the community both emotionally and in some cases physically scarred. Finding reassurance in numbers, all 700 villagers gathered in a field the first night to sleep. They strung together tarpaulin sheets for shelter that were quickly carried away by the wind, leaving the villagers to face the rain, along with everything else.
Maya Tamang is a corn farmer. Before the earthquake, she lived with her husband and two sons in their ancestral family house - a home that has been passed down through the family for generations.
“When the earthquake began I was sitting in front of the house. I tried to get up and run but I couldn’t because of the shaking. All of my things got buried inside of the house, even my clothes. I had to spend a night outside without proper clothes.”
Patali Taman usually spends the day with her two young grandsons. During the earthquake, their safety was her first thought. When the shaking started she scooped them up, one in each arm, and tried to run out of the house. She was hit by falling rubble and a large rock struck her left knee, pinning her to the ground.
My house was dancing and I was dancing also."
Thankfully, Patali and her her grandsons all survived the incident. Before receiving a Portal Shelter, she had been living in a small shelter built using rubble and a tin sheet.
The force of the earthquake disabled phone networks across Nepal in the wake of the April 25th disaster. For remote villages like Sipitar in Sindhupalchowk, this meant that access to information and news about the destruction was very hard to come by - villagers could assess the damage based only on what they saw around them. Many individuals simply assumed that this shaking must have been felt by the whole world, and that cities from New York to London were in ruins.