Bolgaun Stories: Earthbag Baby - House #1

When 23 year old Karchu Bomgyang was helping her husband, Sugyalbo, fill the foundation of their new Earthbag house, she suddenly let out a small scream and dropped everything she was doing.

Karchu had gone into labor and suddenly the need for a stable, permanent home was more urgent than ever before.

Joining her older sister, Sabina (age 4), baby Sompalmu had come into a world that had been neither easy nor kind to their parents. Two years ago, Karchu and Sugyalbo had left their family and village of Bolgaun to look for work in India. Abandoning everything they knew in Nepal for the sake of earning a living. Sugyalbo worked day to day as a farmer and laborer while his wife stayed home alone to take care of their first child. Each morning around dawn, Sugyalbo joined a whole truckload of other workers to be taken to whatever project needed employees on that day and would first come home late in the evening, with a small sum of money to help provide for his family. Days, weeks, months, and eventually years passed like this until abruptly on April 25th, 2015, everything came to a sudden halt.

On a sunny Saturday in India, Sugyalbo and Karchu felt a slight shaking from below. What felt like a minor tremble to them, however, had entirely leveled their village in Nepal, destroying their family’s home and ending the lives of nearly half their neighbors, friends, and family. Upon hearing of the magnitude of destruction, this sweet family was on the road again- headed back to Bolgaun to be with those dear to them.

Arriving home after days of walking, they recognized little of the village they once knew. The road to Bolgaun had been wiped away by landslides and the entire village had fallen to the ground, killing and injuring those who had been in the way. Karchu and Sugyalbo joined the community in the long wait for aid, food, and medical help, but nothing ever came until nearly 18 months later when Australian medical workers spied the leveled village from across the valley.

Helen Simpson began a long trek across the valley and made a connection with the village of Bolgaun that finally initiated the process of rebuilding this shattered community. Now, Karchu and Sugyalbo are the first of many families in Bolgaun to rebuild their home using Earthbag method and the first to have a permanent, sustainable, and safe home for their beautiful new family.

This project is sponosored by Nimbin Health and Welfare association.