The generosity of the people of Stamford has enabled seven new earthquake-proof homes to be built in Nepal.
The houses are now occupied by poor families who have been living in makeshift shelters since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit in April 2015, destroying their homes. They have been paid for by an extraordinary fundraising effort by Churches Together in Stamford.
Together the 10 churches, including Stamford Methodist Church and Stamford Free Church, raised £17,500 and as a thank you gesture to the people of Stamford, The Leprosy Mission, which organised the rebuild, has named the new street ‘Stamford Street’.
Helen Walton, community development manager at Peterborough-based The Leprosy Mission and a member of St George’s Church, Stamford, said: “I wish I could take everyone who donated to this campaign to Nepal to meet the people who live in these wonderful new homes so that they could thank them personally.
“These are ultra-poor people, many disabled by leprosy, who lost loved ones and everything they own in the devastating earthquake of April 2015.
“The earthquake was really horrific, killing 9,000 people.
“The people living on the new Stamford Street are simply astounded by the compassion of the people of Stamford and could never even dare to dream of living in homes like their new home.”
The Rev Andy Fyall, Minister of Stamford Methodist Church, said: “Churches Together in Stamford were moved by the plight of the people of Nepal following the earthquake as reported to us by The Leprosy Mission.
“In response we set ourselves the challenge of raising enough money to build a number of earthquake-resistant houses.
“A pop-up café run by the young people of St George’s Church, concerts, coffee mornings and other fundraising events run by the various churches in Stamford enabled seven houses to be built.
“We like to think of Stamford Street in Nepal and continue to hold those recovering their lives following this earthquake in our prayers.”
The first family to move into Stamford Street was leprosy-affected Krishna and his two sons Ashok, 19, and Kamal, 13. Krishna lost his wife Pushpa when the walls of the family’s previous home caved in during the 2015 earthquake crushing the 42-year-old mum-of-two to death.
The Leprosy Mission also provided Krishna with a loan so he can buy some poultry and start a business after losing his livestock in the quake.
The ‘Rebuild Nepal’ campaign was launched on World Leprosy Day last January. World Leprosy Day 2017 is on Sunday and Churches Together in Stamford is raising money to build a new outpatients’ department at Purulia Hospital in India which treats around 45,000 people a year, many of which cannot afford medical treatment elsewhere.