Proving age is but a number, newly-qualified 52 year old Dilkumari Neupane is a mason now in charge of rebuilding collapsed houses in Rasuwa District, Nepal- two years on from the devastating earthquake in April which killed 9,000 people.
The earthquake left many women without their husbands and homes, leaving the burden of providing for a household firmly on their shoulders.
However, women like Dilkumari are rebuilding their futures, one brick at a time. Supported by local organisation Lumanti, funded by UK aid agency CAFOD, Dilkumari has gained a range of masonry skills needed to construct earthquake-resistant buildings.
Dilkumari is one of only a handful of women doing this work in the area and since completing the training, she now leads a team of both male and female trainees.
The married mother of 6 children and grandmother of 1, trained to be a mason so she could earn more money to support her family.
Now that she has received training, Dilkumari earns 300 more rupees per day than before – bringing her salary up to 800 rupees per day, on a par with her male counterparts.
With the additional money she is earning and her newly acquired skills in tow, Dilkumari hopes to rebuild her home which was destroyed in the earthquake.
Described by her employers as ‘hardworking, motivated and incredibly strong’ – Dilkumari won’t let her age or gender stop her, “Yes, I am in my 50s but I am a Nepali woman, we are very strong.”
Find out more about how the reconstruction efforts are coming along here.