Meet the resilient Nepalis you've helped us reach


June 3, 2015

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  • A relative of Surbi Maharjan holds young Anju, who was separated from her mother during the earthquake. The family was one of many to receive an emergency supply kit. All photos: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps

As the people of Nepal slowly begin to recover — returning to their homes, rebuilding damaged structures, and looking forward — they still need our help.

Going back to life as it was before the earthquakes is impossible for families who’ve lost loved ones or a safe place to live during this disaster.

That’s why our team in Nepal is working hard every day to reach more people with emergency relief. Your compassionate support is making a difference for so many families who are struggling to reclaim their lives and their hope for the future.

Since the April 25 quake, we’ve provided more than 43,000 people with much-needed emergency supplies — and we'll reach 75,000 more people this month.

Along the way, our team has seen the strength and resilience of Nepalis across the country — from bustling Kathmandu to tiny, green hillside villages. Meet a few of the people you’ve helped us reach below, and learn about their stories.


Since the earthquakes, Karna Bahadur Tamang, 73, has been living in a tent with his son and daughter. He built the house they used to live in himself, but it’s damaged now and will have to be rebuilt.

Karna hurt his hand during the disaster, but he’s working to construct a small temporary home that will last through the upcoming monsoon season. “I don’t want to build a big home, but I want it to be strong, even though it is small,” he says.


Aastha Maharjan, 18, was in her home when the earthquake struck and caused massive damage. Now, she and her family are living in a crowded chicken coop with about 85 other people. They can’t stay there long, and they aren’t sure where they’ll go next.

Before the earthquakes, Aastha spent her time studying water management in college. She dreams of someday opening up a cooking school.


Surbi was separated from her daughter Anju, only four months old, during the initial earthquake. She cried as she ran back to her house, where she found her family and young daughter rattled, but safe.

The family is now living in a makeshift shelter made from tarp and corrugated metal. It leaks when the rain comes, but Surbi is happy to be reunited with her baby. The family is still clearing away rubble from the damage and looking for a way to rebuild.


Maiya Laxmi Mella used to run her own tea shop out of her home, where about 50 people each day would come to buy tea. Her home collapsed during the earthquake. Maiya was outside, but her children were in the tea shop and sheltered under a table to stay safe.

She says that one of the biggest challenges of life now is staying clean — flies are everywhere and she worries about keeping her family healthy. Now, she uses the soap from her emergency supply kit to wash her dishes and help her children stay clean.


Ninety-four-year-old Sarbajeeta Silwa lived near the epicenter of Nepal’s major 1934 earthquake — she was just twelve at the time. A few years later, she began a new life in a small village just outside Kathmandu, married, and started a family.

When April’s harrowing earthquake hit, she was sitting on the porch with two of her young great-grandchildren. The front of their house crumbled completely after the first tremor, but everyone was safe. She is proud of her family and confident that they’ll be strong enough to recover.


Suvash has had to grow up fast — his mother left the family when he was a child, and his father passed away two years ago. His grandmother, who took care of him, died during the earthquake.

With his two siblings by his side, Suvash still has bright dreams for the future. “My aim is to be a public defender. I was inspired by my neighbor, who’s a lawyer,” he says. I want to help poor people who cannot defend themselves.”

Until he can go back to his studies, Suvash tries to cheer up the children living in the tent with his family. “I try to make them laugh,” he says. They play games and sing and dance to pass the time until they can return home.


Secha was nearly killed during the initial earthquake. He was partially buried when his house collapsed all around him. Miraculously, he escaped the disaster with only minor injuries. But he says that he now feels like there is an earthquake all the time.

"I can't fall asleep. I wake up at night. I don't feel hungry, I don't want to eat anything,” he says. “I'm thinking about my house, my family members.” The family is now living in a crowded makeshift shelter with 17 other families.

Reena & Sarun

Reena and her husband Sarun are grateful that they were away when the earthquake hit and destroyed much of their home, including the roof. Reena would have usually been home at the time, but she happened to be visiting her mother in a village five hours away.

The young couple was in shock when they finally returned to their home to see the damage. They’re not sure if they’ll be able to rebuild. For now, they are staying with Reena’s in-laws until they can rent a new place to start over.

How you can help

  • Donate to our Humanitarian Response Fund: Your gift will help people in Nepal recover and support our emergency efforts to crises in Syria, South Sudan, Ukraine and around the world. Give now ▸
  • Fundraise for survivors: Our team is able to quickly respond to natural disasters because of supporters like you — and the more people who come together to help, the more people we can reach. Spread the word to your family and friends: Start a fundraising page for Nepal ▸