19 October 2015
Mina is a 24-year-old volunteer, and she is coordinating the rebuild of homes and schools in her village in Nepal with ActionAid. She lives in Sindupalchowk, one of the regions that was worst hit by the earthquakes that struck Nepal six months ago this week. Here, she describes her work and why it's so important that the women of Nepal are at the heart of rebuilding their communities.
"The most important thing about what I do is speaking with the community to find out what their needs and feelings are and work to make things better for them. So far, people here are very happy with the reconstruction work. Of course there are always challenges, but on the whole, work has been going ahead very well.
Providing building expertise
There has been a lot of technical support, with engineers and activists going to each household to have a talk with the residents and encourage them to begin work and build strong structures. This has made the local people here happy.
What we need to do now is continue this community involvement to build more permanent structures.
The role of women in the rebuild
I think it's very important for women to be volunteering and working as part of these efforts to rebuild our country. I believe that in any sector women should make up half the workforce and be equal partners in all decisions that affect them.
When women get involved in the rebuild it shows that they can be leaders. Until now women have not been active as leaders in this community. Women are mostly just involved in household affairs, they simply don't have the time to engage themselves in affairs outside of their houses.
However there are a couple of women like me, who are strongly involved in the rebuild and when other women see us and the work we do, they are also interested in becoming more involved. We are setting an example."
ActionAid Nepal has supported more than 118,000 people affected by the earthquakes, working closely with women from communities in the worst hit areas.