Waterloo event to highlight work being done in post-earthquake Nepal

Citizens of Nepal are rebuilding after a devastating earthquake in April 2015.

People may be asking themselves, 'What happened to Nepal?'

Rescue workers remove debris as they search for victims of earthquake in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, April 26, 2015. A strong earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley before noon, causing extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File) (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

The citizens of Nepal have been picking up the pieces of their lives after a devastating earthquake last year killed more than 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000 others.

People in rural and remote parts of the country have been rebuilding homes and communities since the 7.8 magnitude quake struck last April, but for the most part, those stories are not being told, says David Barth of World Accord, a Waterloo-based charity that funds development in Latin America and Asia.

Friday night, Barth will be joined by others during a public panel discussion on the changes in Nepal over the past 10 months.

"I think that it's interesting to get those stories right from the grassroots, so you're going right to the places where, for the most part, journalists haven't gotten to. In post-earthquake Nepal, most of the journalists and stories were coming from Kathmandu and not getting out into the remote areas and hearing the stories of the people," Barth said of the event.

"The media kind of spurs the giving to various charities and the government to be active over there...but then that kind of stops. I think at some point, people kind of wonder, 'What happened to Nepal?'"

Photo exhibit and panel discussion

World Accord is a member of the Ontario Council for International Co-operation. The council announced to members it had funding for five photojournalism projects and Barth said World Accord was lucky enough to win. A photojournalist was sent to Nepal to capture images of a group  that World Accord funds, called Women for Peace and Democracy in Nepal. The group has focused on long-term development work in the past, but since the earthquake has been focusing on relief work. At first, that meant providing people with food, tarps and blankets. Now, the group is helping people rebuild homes that can withstand future earthquakes.

Barth said people will find event interesting because it will show "how your average Nepali country person lives ... the realities of what life is like in some other part of the world."

Perspectives on Post-Earthquake Nepal is Friday night starting at 7 p.m. at the Center for International Governance Innovation, located at 67 Erb St. W., in Waterloo. There is also an online photo exhibit called Transformations.


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