BIKAS, Nepalese for “development and progress”, is a Belgian non-profit organization (NGO) that builds schools, hospitals, roads and other basic infrastructure in Nepal. BIKAS carries out these sustainable development projects together with the local population, and with respect for the local culture. BIKAS consists of a large team of volunteers that actively provide help and travel to Nepal to build projects.
One of these projects is the Haku-project. Haku is a remote village of 3200 people in the Himalaya-mountains north of Kathmandu, that was completely devastated by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. More than a hundred people died, even more people went missing, houses got destroyed and even went up in flames, schools and hospitals collapsed, meadows and fields were washed away, cattle died… The only thing that remained were shattered dreams…
Because the village was so remote, aid organizations such as Red Cross did not manage to provide help to the inhabitants of Haku Exactly for that reason, Bikas focused on this village. From mid-2015 until now BIKAS has been reconstructing the entire village, together with the local community. Right after the earthquake, BIKAS provided food and life supplies , clothing, blankets, mattresses etc. for the inhabitants of Haku.
In a second phase, temporary shelters and schools were built, the electricity was restored and scholarships were found to help the inhabitants to survive. Temporary shelters have the advantage that they can be built very fast for a low budget, but also that they give the authorities the necessary time to inspect where permanent housing can be reconstructed. The underground has become unstable in many places after the earthquake. In total 57 temporary houses have been built. BIKAS also worked with other organizations to prevent child victims being smuggled and sold as slaves or child brides.
The inhabitants from Haku have recovered materials from their destructed house to build walls, and stay warm inside their temporary houses on the cold Himalaya mountains. This is the preferred solution since materials are very difficult to transport up to the village of Haku in the Himalaya mountains, where there are no roads. In the Himalaya mountains temperatures easily drop below zero, and thanks to these temporary houses, many families no longer have to live under a plastic sail in the freezing cold.
By January 2018, the first new school in the village is ready. Next step is to build the toilets (see picture below). After that a second school will be built in the next village, one hour away.
On 3 June 2018 BIKAS is organising a concert in Leuven, to raise funds for the Haku-project. The Himalaya Club will sponsor BIKAS by offering our delicious wok dishes at their event and donating all profit to the Haku-project in Nepal. We are happy to contribute to the reconstruction of the Haku village.