hEmpowering Bottom-Up is building homes for dalit communities around Nepal.
It is based on the understanding that having a clean and safe place to live, eat and sleep is a basic requirement for any kind of further development to happen (as highlighted by Maslow's hierarchy of needs, 1943). If basic needs like food and shelter are not fulfilled, an individual cannot move up the ladder to fulfill other needs like safety, love, self esteem and self actualization.
hEmpowering Bottom-Up is a project jointly initiated by Shah Hemp Inno-Ventures (SHIV) and Women Development Advocacy Center (WDAC). Both SHIV and WDAC () are organizations of Nepalese origin and working in Nepal for the economic and social development of Nepal respectively. We initiated this project in July 2016 and with support of HempConsult and Hempro International (Germany based firms) finished the prototype home for a family of five in December 2016 (https://hemptoday.net/shiv-nears-completion-hem...).
Anybody who has been to Nepal knows why hemp makes sense in this important project: Hemp grows in the wild all over Nepal. International convention and laws have not been able to remove the plant from the DNA of the country due to its religious, social and economic relevance. For generations and decades, seeds and fiber of the plant have been major sources of livelihood for people living in remote western areas of Nepal.
SHIV was founded in the post-earthquake (2015) context of Nepal to use the hemp plant for developing and providing its people an economical and sustainable model of living. Working at ground level for earthquake reconstruction we realized that large numbers of families did not lose a home in the earthquake -- because they did not have one before. This harsh reality led to our mission of providing a home to every homeless person in Nepal. This mission gave name to the project: hEmpowering Bottom-Up.
In this project, the houses are built from hempcrete, a bio-composite made from the inner woody core of the hemp plant mixed with a lime/clay binder.
Building homes for the needy is not an innovative solution to homelessness/poverty. But building homes with hemp definitely makes it not only innovative but economically, socially and environmentally sustainable as well. This project does three things differently:
Construction of the prototype house provided a boost to the local economy and provided employment to the local youth.
95% of $5000 spent in building the prototype house went to the villages as payment for the raw materials like sand, clay, hemp shivs, bamboo, and as compensating the local construction team, thereby contributing to the local economy.
In this second phase, we want to build 6 houses in 6 different villages of south eastern Nepal, hence we request $30,000 through this crowdfunding campaign. Along with building these six houses we are also proposing the Government of Nepal to adopt this model for constructing 1,000 houses they intend to build in every district for Nepal in next 5 years. With this, every penny contributed in this model not only builds a home but also generates employment and boosts local economy.
For the amount of construction that is needed in Nepal in next five years, if it isn't done with natural & local construction material then we would end up destroying the natural beauty of Nepal.
For more details on hempcrete construction in general and in context of Nepal, watch the following video
Location of the project
Help build one or they will never have one !