After the house was completed, everybody started praising Yashodha’s work. The rest is now history, as she has been receiving many offers to build houses in her community.
Thirty five-year-old YashodhaPhuyal ofWard no. 5 in MolungGaunpalika, Okhaldhunga,has been working as a highly demanded mason in her community for the last 10 months. She feels proud that she has been able to reconstructsix earthquake-resilient houses during this period.
This was possible after Yashodareceived the 50-day onsite mason training.She has now become able to support her family of four children (two daughters, two sons), husband and a mother-in-law with her income.
After becoming a mother of four children at the young age, Yashoda took some training on producing handicrafts, but she got frustrated as nobody bought her products.
After the earthquake, however, things changed after she decided to attend the mason training.
“My decision to take the training changed my life as there was need of skilled mason in the community,” she shared.“I am happy that I could contribute in the rebuilding process.”
Yashoda now earns Rs. 1,000 a day and manages to work for 20 to 25 days in a month with support from her family.
However, the journey of becoming a reputed mason was not easy for Yashodha. After completing training, she decided to start her work by building her own brothers-in-law’s houses as they were living in makeshift tents. But, her brother-in-law did not trust her. She tried to convince her but failed. Yashodha then brought other men who received training with her to construct her brother’s house and she started working as a helper to them.
While Yashodha was breaking the stones for making the concrete, her fellow villagers encouraged her to work as a mason rather than a helper. Her brother-in-law then gave her an opportunity to build his house along with other trained male masons but decided not to pay her. Yashodha agreed to work for free as she wanted to prove to her fellow villagers and the community that she can work better than the male masons.
After the house was completed, everybody started praising Yashodha’s work. The rest is now history, as she has been receiving many offers to build houses in her community. Yashodha is now working as a main mason and provides employment opportunities to other women who have taken training with her.
She has taken adult literacy classes and can do basic reading and writing. “I could not get an opportunity to study due to poverty but I want my children to study and excel in future. This is why I am working hard as a mason for their better future,” said Yashodha.
Yashodha’s husband is supportive and helps her in looking after the cattle and doing household chores when she goes to work. “I am happy that my husband and my mother-in-law helps me with all household activities due to which I have been able to help my community build back better and safer,” Yashodha said happily.
With the funding support from the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) andthe Department for International Development (DFID),the Employment Fund/Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Nepal has trained around 1,200 masons in the district of which 265 are women.
From Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation