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people move beyond their socially dictated trades. In referencing these trades, Paryar said, “We feel that’s not the


only thing we can do.” She wants to be a journalist or a social worker rather than doing Dalit-specific tailoring.


Coming together amid challenges In Sanagoun, where Shrestha still lives, she remembers how the LWF was there “at the very beginning, distributing help.” They offered rice, lentils, tents, kitchenware, hygiene kits and water filters to her family and others. Today Sanagoun is a model village in which the people make bricks


Some villagers in Tawal, Nepal, are starting to rebuild without waiting for government funding, but they lack the materials to create earthquake-resistant structures.


to reconstruct houses. Water and sanitation systems will be established, small business grants will be awarded and livelihood training will be conducted via the work of ELCA partners like the LWF. “Before the earthquake, we rarely came together, often just to


celebrate festivals,” said Pundeshori Shrestha. “We didn’t know each other well. But now, after the disaster, we work together, we communicate, we know each other much better as we come together.” She has seen young and old people join forces to rebuild: “This all


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has united us together for a better future. We are powerful together.” Those in Sanagoun all agree that, even as things have gotten


better, life will be beautiful again only when they have their quality of life back. Subama Shrestha, a community leader, summed it up this way:


“Coming together was not our choice. The circumstances brought us together.” Pointing to an ELCA visiting group, she said: “You are here. And you have been here and you will be here, we know that.”


Pundeshori Shrestha (front at right) has seen young and old people come together to support their village after the earthquakes.


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Ishida is program director for Asia Pacific with ELCA Global Mission.


40 MAY 2016


To help The ELCA, through Lutheran Disaster Response, works with its partners in Nepal—Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief, United Mission to Nepal and Shanti Nepal (a primary health provider and hospital)—to provide ongoing relief and development to those affected by the disaster. To help, visit www.elca.org/disaster.


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