Nick Abraham, a former Orange Student, has dedicated his young life to rebuild a earthquake village devastated by the earthquake in Nepal. Mr Abraham, 22, is a co-founder and director of From The Ground Up, a small team of architects, builders, engineers and like-minded professionals whose vision is to rebuild sustainable and earthquake-resistant communities in Nepal.
Abraham learned about the earthquake in Nepal while working in Darwin last year and felt obliged to do something for Nepal. Back then, he used to work as a builder by day and worked in a bar with a group of Nepalese students at night. “They were just an amazing group. When they heard about the earthquake they were so upset. One of the guys told me he couldn’t get through to his family and I felt so bad for him. I spoke to the boss and told him I wanted to use my carpentry skills to help out,” says Abraham.
Mr Abraham sourced a volunteer organisation in Nepal and a Facebook campaign Taking Nick to Nepal began to raise money for what he planned would be a six-month stint.
“It was a big commitment, a huge commitment, but I always wanted to do something I felt of use in,” he said.
“I felt very compassionate towards these guys.”
When Mr Abraham landed in Nepal in September 2015 the devastation hit home.
“It was insane, there was still destruction everywhere … they were still pulling out bodies from the rubble and they still are,” he said.
“I couldn’t fathom it. What have I walked into? I had no idea how to begin.”
Abraham’s introduction to Nepal was not quite pleasant as the Organization he was supposed to join had gone separate ways and were no longer working in specific projects in the village of Ghumarkchowk, 17 kms north east of Kathmandu.
“I was supposed to go over and build 150 temporary shelters, it was monsoon season and there were internal issues with the organisation,” he said.
“There were still a few people there keen to work and I said I needed to do something, I’ve raised this money [$12,000] to come over here and people expect things to be done.
“We can’t do much with our funds all over Nepal but if we focus our efforts and target one specific village we can build a rapport with the villagers and work in tandem to achieve full infrastructure and economic development within the village,” he said.
“We’re building nine homes for Hem Sarita Pathak Foundation, one school for Change for Hope America, and we’re in the planning stages for two medical centers for HAPSA run by Harvard medical students,” Mr Abraham said. “Basically it’s their projects and they fund it and we do it.
“We’re raising money for our own second school now and it’s estimated to cost us around $45,000 as it’s a full school rebuild. It’s quite expensive so at the rate we’re going it will take us around a year to raise the funds for it.”
Mr Abraham’s carpentry work back in Sydney funds the overheads for the From the Ground Up projects.
“Any costs related to it comes out of my pocket which is fine, I have no regrets, I love doing what I do,” he said.
“At this stage of my life I have no aspirations to own my home or anything.
“I’m spending my time and money doing what I love, I don’t find it too amazing.
“Hopefully I can make it my job. I don’t want to stop at Nepal, I want to keep going into other countries.”
Read the full story here(CentralWesternDaily.com)