Dekbir rebuilds his home after Jajarkot earthquake

Dekbir, who was born with a disability and had to leave school to provide for his family, is reconstructing his home after it was damaged in a recent earthquake in Jajarkot, Nepal.

At 30 years old, Dekbir has known hardship all his life. From a remote village in Nepal’s Jajarkot district, he was forced to drop out of school early due to financial pressures and to take on the responsibility of being the breadwinner for his family.

Dekbir standing in front of a village damaged by recent earthquake in Jajarkot.
Dekbir is standing in his village shattered by the earthquake. @Plan International

Born with a disability that limits his mobility – an accident 3 years ago further hampered Dekbir’s ability to walk. “Though my back and injured leg may limit my abilities, they do not prevent me from wanting to provide for my family. Disability may shape my body, but it will never define my spirit.”

Living with his parents, brother, and pregnant wife, Dekbir’s days were spent farming their small plot of land, where he grew maize and kept bees to make an income. However, everything changed one evening in November 2023 when a massive earthquake shattered his world, leaving his home in ruins and destroying his livelihood.

“Disability may shape my body, but it will never define my spirit.”


The earthquake strikes

Although Dekbir and his wife escaped unharmed, his parents were trapped in their collapsed house. “The earthquake shook our world, tearing apart our home and stealing our sense of security. In that moment of chaos, I felt powerless to save my loved ones.”

Forced to spend nights in the open, with little food or shelter, their despair grew as they grappled with the harsh reality of their situation. With no immediate relief in sight, Dekbir’s worries deepened, especially for his pregnant wife, who struggled to find nutritious food.

“In that moment of chaos, I felt powerless to save my loved ones.”


Rebuilding lives with determination

Despite having no formal training in construction or manual work, Dekbir was determined to build a temporary shelter where his family could live. With guidance from Plan International’s technicians, Dekbir is following the building instructions he receives diligently. Regular visits from the technicians ensure that he receives the necessary support, guidance, funds, and essential materials he needs throughout the construction process.

By learning how to utilise locally available materials effectively, Dekbir aims to keep costs to a minimum while ensuring the long-term durability of his shelter. “For the first time, our family is united in the endeavour of rebuilding, each of us playing a vital role in the reconstruction effort. Knowing that our hard work will be compensated, both financially and with the materials needed for construction, fills me with a sense of purpose and determination.”

A man constructing a temporary shelter in his village.
Dekbir assists his friend in constructing a transitional shelter. @Plan International

As he awaits the arrival of more materials and funds to continue to work on his own shelter, Dekbir is lending a helping hand to his neighbours, showcasing his resilience and willingness to assist others despite his own struggles. With each passing day, his hope for a safer, more secure future grows stronger.

“I am immensely grateful for the support and guidance provided by the technicians from Plan International. Their assistance will not only help me construct a sturdy shelter for my family but has also equipped me with valuable skills. Now, as I see my shelter taking shape, I feel inspired to pursue similar work in the future. This experience has empowered me, and I am determined to continue building a better future for my family.”