Easing the load: Yaya’s story

20th April 2019

“My husband left our house when our son was 2 years old. He never came back. I had to look after our child alone. He is 30 years old now. When he was young he used to ask me where his Dad was, but I didn’t have any answer. I used to cry on my own. I don’t know if he’s still alive but I still watch out for him. I still hope that one day he will come, I will wait for him till my last breath.”

Post by Expedition volunteer Sunita Lama Gole

Yaya Maya Gurung is a 65-year-old lady who lives in Beni Gaun, a remote village in the Gorkha district of Nepal. She has a son who lives in Kathmandu with his family and though he often visits she lives an isolated life.

As a single mother, Yaya works hard, tending to cattle and doing household chores. She must collect her water from a public tap, she leaves early in the morning to do this to avoid the queues later on, which would cause her to be late for work.

The availability of water in this region is scarce, especially during the dry season, where many water sources dry up, which can sometimes lead to health issues. Each community in Gorkha owns its own water source, so when one does not produce enough water, the village are forced to look elsewhere, sometimes having to heavily ration their own supplies.

Expedition volunteer Sunita interviewing Yaya

Raleigh have been working in partnership with the community in Beni Gaun for three months to build household tap stands, distribution lines, toilets and hand washing stations. The team have also been delivering awareness raising sessions on hygiene, handwashing and safe water practices, to ensure the work carried out there is sustainable.

Yaya now has her own tap stand at her house, saving her hours each day waiting for water at the communal tap.

Yaya next to her completed tap stand

Yaya is one of many people in Beni Gaun who will benefit from Raleigh’s work. They will not only have their own tap stands but their hygiene standards will also be improved. The small steps the community is taking will make a big difference to their lives, spreading smiles over many faces.

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