Rotherham’s PHASE charity helps rebuild earthquake-hit communities
COMMUNITIES devastated by an earthquake are being helped to get back on their feet by a Rotherham charity which has received its second largest grant.
PHASE (which stands for Practical Help Achieving Self Empowerment) Worldwide, based on Percy Street, has received £528,000 of Lottery Funding which will go towards rebuilding regions devastated by the earthquake in Nepal on April 25 2015.
The earthquake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, left around 8,700 people dead, 22,000 injured and hundreds of thousands homeless.
The Big Lottery Fund committed £2 million to help affected communities and PHASE was one of the first four UK-based charities to be given a grant from the pot of funding to help its aid work.
Sarah Galvin, from PHASE Worldwide, said it was the second largest amount of funding the organisation had ever received in its 11-year history which was an “amazing” feat for the small charity.
The charity was found by Rotherham-based Nick Cragg, his wife Marie and former Wath GP Dr Gerda Pohl, who now lives in Nepal.
Sarah added: “The money will be spent over five years in two specific isolated and inaccessible regions in the Gorkha district – Kerauja, Kashigaun – where British Gorkhas also live.
“Our main focus will be rebuilding livelihoods, as a lot of people lost rice and seed stocks, sewing machines – their tools which allowed them to work.”
Projects will provide agricultural training, nutrition awareness-raising and teachers will be trained to develop child-friendly environments and promote gender inclusion.
PHASE workers helped Purna, a 60-year-old widow, who lives in Sirdibas, where 90 per cent of buildings were destroyed.
Purna said: “My eldest son was in Thulo Dunga when the earthquake hit.
“There was a huge landslide there, part of the rocky hillside broke off and took the whole path down.
“My son was buried by descending rocks and died instantly.
“In the earthquake I lost my son, my house and my cows and sheep.
“PHASE Nepal health workers were in the village and helped treat injured people.
“They also distributed tarpaulins, which helped me to create a small temporary shelter.”
To find out more visit phaseworldwide.org.