Lily Thapa, guest speaker for The Women’s Build

Habitat is so excited to announce that Lily Thapa will be a guest keynote speaker during the The Women’s Build held in March next year!

Lily will be speaking for the International Women’s Day dinner that will be taking place during the Women’s Build in Nepal from 3rd – 10th March.


About Lily Thapa

Born into a family of army personnel and married to Late Major Dr. Amir Thapa, Lily’s life was turned around after losing her husband at a young age of 29. He was killed in the Gulf War in 1994 while on duty on a UN mission. Overnight, Lily went from being an educated and accomplished woman running a primary school, to having almost no status or sense of personal identity, as dictated by Nepalese society. It was during this period that Lily first came into contact with the grim reality of widowhood in Nepalese Hindu society, as well as the reprehensible treatment and practices forced upon women, making them virtually disappear. That was when Lily resolved to become what she is today, a selfless and dedicated woman who inspires those around her with her extraordinary strength and confidence that she carries.

Lily Thapa is the founding chairperson of Women for Human Rights (WHR), Single Women (widows) Group in Nepal that has been working for the social, political, economic and legal rights of single women in Nepal and South Asia for past 20 years. She is also a founding member of Sankalpa, which is a women’s alliance for peace, justice and democracy and is currently serving as President. Lily established the South Asian Network for Women Empowerment and Development (SANWED) in 2003 and serves as the General Secretary. Under this transformational leadership, WHR and this grassroots movement of widows has grown from one small room to a global level. By profession, Ms Thapa is Lecturer of Sociology and Gender in the University of Nepal.

Join the Women’s Build

Around 41% of Nepal’s population lives in inadequate housing. Houses are often poorly built structures with thatched roofs and straw walls and are highly vulnerable to natural disasters. These conditions are commonplace for Nepal’s poorest who earn an average unsteady income of just a few dollars a day. Of these, female headed households, including widows are doubly oppressed and disadvantaged. They are frequently denied access to and control over land, limiting their chances of ever owning a decent home.

Without secure housing to protect them from the elements, poor and vulnerable families are even more disadvantaged when disaster strikes – as was the case in 2015 when two earthquakes caused massive devastation in Nepal.

Over two years on, families are still recovering from the earthquake. However, together we can give make a difference.

Join the Women’s Build today and celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 in the most rewarding way – helping a family break the cycle of poverty with your own hands.

You will work alongside a team of like-minded women and men as we venture to Nepal to help build a home for an earthquake-affected family over one week. This is a truly unique opportunity to not only see the world, but to help change it.

No building experience is required. All you need is a reasonable level of fitness, an open mind, and a willingness to get your hands dirty. You will also be working alongside local construction workers who will teach you the ropes.

Click here for an information pack about the build that includes the project information, detailed itinerary, costs and stories from past volunteers. Discover how you can help change the lives of families in need and sign up today

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