Changing lives through Skill trainings

Bikram Chepang, 30 of Sarikhet Village Development Committee- 4, Makawanpur District, has moved his family of eight from a small hut to an earthquake resilient house which he himself built. Bikram was able to build his house during the course of the masonry skills training which he took from Sana Byabasaya Paramarsha Kendra, a partner of Employment Fund/ HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal.
During the onsite training, a group of 10 trainees along with the lead and the assistant trainer build two earthquake resilient houses. The trainees decide whose houses are to be built. Fortunately, Bikram’s house was selected for during training construction.
Post 2015 earthquake, Employment Fund has been supporting 50 days onsite skills training for reconstruction which is provided through private Training and Employment Service Providers. Through UKaid’s Department of International Development (DFID) funding support, such trainings have been carried out in Kavre, Makwanpur, Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap, Rasuwa and Sindhuli.
In the training, Bikram and the other trainees received a five days long theoretical session, in which they learnt about seismic resilient structures along with the knowledge of site selection/ layout/ safety measures and so on. The practical session (remaining days) involved hands on experience with sketching house plans, foundation excavation and wall construction with layers of bands placed at defined intervals. The trainees also learnt the proper placement of doors/ windows and how to connect them with bands to create box effect, tying the bands with light weight roofing system and completing the roofing work.
Aside from being the first person in the village with an earthquake resilient house, Bikram’s livelihood has also improved with an increase in income from Rs 300 a day to Rs 1,000 a day. “Earlier, I used to request community people to provide me with work but now they come looking for me to build earthquake resilient houses for them,” says Bikram.
Bikram’s family used to have enough food to last them for three months only which left Bikram worried about meeting their nutrition requirement for the rest of the year. Now with his regular earning, he not only provides proper food to his family but also saves money in local cooperatives. Bikram has already constructed three houses in his community after the training.
Like Bikram, other 10,850 youth from earthquake affected districts have received masonry and construction carpentry training from Employment Fund till date. These youth have contributed to the construction of around 3,000 earthquake resilient houses.
Employment Fund not only provides trainings but also ensures that the graduates work after the trainings. The project introduced outcome based financing system in 2008, and the reconstruction training also followed the same system. Under the outcome based financing system, the private training providers receive payment based on the achievement of the agreed output and outcomes.