Tearfund workers and partners are currently hard at work, following a second devastating earthquake.

Conditions are difficult, but they are working tirelessly to get life-saving aid to places where the need is greatest.

For the very latest news, go to our Nepal quake page, which is updated regularly

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Every year for more than 20 years, Nepali farmer Keshab Bahadur Singh had to say goodbye to his family and make the long trek to India to find work.

His fields could only produce enough food for four months of the year, so Keshab would leave his wife and four children to work on construction sites or do whatever other work he could find.

Now aged 53, Keshab is finally putting those times behind him as new knowledge about better farming practices is putting him back in charge of his life.

A programme run by Tearfund partner United Mission to Nepal (UMN) in Bajhang district, funded by the Isle of Man government, is revolutionising Keshab’s livelihood and others in poverty like him.

UMN has brought farmers together to form groups to improve their skills and boost their food production. As well as training about diversifying into growing vegetables, group members have received practical help, such as more resilient seed varieties and equipment for irrigation.

Huge improvement

The groups also save money together and offer loans to members looking to start new enterprises or to pay for unexpected costs, such as medical treatment.

Since joining his local group, Keshab has seen a jump in earnings for his crops of tomato, mustard, radish, onion, garlic and chilli and the added income means he’s better able to provide for his family and repay his loans.

Steve Collins, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Nepal, said being able to produce food for eight months of the year was a big improvement for Keshab: ‘The long trek to India is a thing of the past. And at 53 years of age, that’s something Keshab’s very pleased about!’

More than 800 farming households are now part of 39 farmer groups, with just over half of the members being women.

A little history ...

From 1996 to 2006, a civil war between the government and Maoist guerrillas killed thousands of people, destroyed infrastructure and caused massive displacement. Nepal was declared a democratic republic and the ruling monarchy was abolished.

Nepal suffers frequent natural disasters and severe rural hardship. Most Nepalis are farmers, but many villages suffer food shortages –  their vulnerability increased by drought, earthquakes, fires, epidemics, and avalanches.

Tearfund has been active in Nepal since 1970 and currently works with five partners, reducing poverty in a variety of ways.

Partners train churches to work closely with surrounding communities to help them use existing skills and materials to tackle long-standing poverty problems.

Through this approach communities are getting access to clean water, toilets, education and also new ways to generate income and to improve farming methods. We're stopping hunger by helping people start market gardens and diversify livestock.

We’re also assisting communities in mid-west areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as flooding, so they are better prepared to deal with them.

People trafficking is being tackled by partners alerting border communities to the dangers and linking them with local authorities.

Ambitious six year project to transform Nepali district

An ambitious six-year development programme is underway in Nepal’s Nuwakot district to improve the lives of 10,000 people through lasting transformation rather than short term fixes. One year in, we report on progress across five isolated communities.

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