Rebuilding earthquake affected communities

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Rebuilding earthquake affected communities

Tom Southern, CBRE Pacific Executive Chairman, traveled to Nepal to volunteer on our disaster recovery efforts in Kavre, Nepal. Here, he shares with us his Global Village experience first hand…

“In late September I traded my laptop for a pair of work boots to work alongside the local community of Pipaltar in East Nepal, helping to build much needed infrastructure with Habitat for Humanity.

I had previously visited Nepal on two occasions and found the genuine simplicity and natural beauty of the country to be incredibly compelling. At the same time, however, I was taken aback by the extreme poverty in the region and decided I wanted to make a positive difference in some way to the lives of Nepalese families.

Over the course of a week, I worked alongside a diverse team of individuals from Australia and the local community, helping to aid the recovery of a village which had been destroyed by earthquakes only five months earlier. Our team of volunteers worked each day with more than 100 community members, clearing rubble, building retaining walls and widening a road, to enable families to begin rebuilding their homes.

By working alongside the men, women and children of the village during the long hot days of physical labour, in addition to sharing meals and conversations with them, I developed a sense of comradery with the community and deep respect for the resilience of the Nepalese people. Despite humble living conditions and the devastation they had recently experienced , the village enjoyed lush natural surroundings and a blissful atmosphere aided by the positive and relaxed attitudes of individuals in the community.

Although our group of volunteers was able to make an important contribution to the restoration and modernisation of this community, the entire process will take over 18-months to complete. The majority of the construction will be completed by members of the local community, who Habitat for Humanity employ as labourers to provide an ongoing income for families.

Despite not knowing what to expect before arriving in Nepal, I found this unique experience to be incredibly rewarding. I would like to thank the generous individuals who contributed to the over AU$10,000 I was able to raise for Habitat for Humanity as part of this trip. This fundraising total is a testament to the rare group of generous and compassionate individuals who make up CBRE Pacific.”

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