Sharada Danuwar is 22 years old, and like nearly everyone else in her village of Pilpaltar, she lost her family home when the quakes hit last spring. Since then, she and her extended family of eight have been living in temporary shelter they built with materials from Habitat for Humanity. And, like others in her community, Sharada is attempting to turn loss into gain.
Informal on-the-job mason training is a component of Habitat’s village reconstruction project. As Habitat for Humanity has families participate in the construction of their homes as partners, Sharada decided that she wants to learn to be a mason.
“I like to learn, and want to be a skilled mason,” said Sharada. “I want to prove to myself that I can do everything that the boys can do, and be an inspirational woman to my village.”
Up to this point, Sharada has learned the how-tos of mixing mortar, brick laying, leveling and measuring excavation depths. While she is playing a crucial role in rebuilding her own village, the reconstruction process has provided her with an opportunity that would have otherwise been difficult to access. Admittedly, there is a glass ceiling in Nepal, but she is determined to break through. If she sticks with it, Sharada will be the first female mason from her village, ever.
“I feel very happy and it will be a very proud moment for me to be the first female mason from Pilpaltar,” said Sharada. “I feel very thankful to Habitat for Humanity for providing me with the opportunity.”