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‘It’s about awareness’: Langford group building women’s safe house in Nepal

It will provide women who are survivors of violence with safety, shelter and mental health services

Langford non-profit group Another Brick in Nepal (ABIN) is raising funds to build a safe house.

The safe house being constructed in Khandari, Nepal, will provide women who are survivors of violence with safety, shelter, mental health services, skill training and access to avenues for justice, according to Rob Tournour, the founder of ABIN.

“It’s about awareness, and especially right now with the women’s safe house project,” said Tournour.

On Saturday (Nov. 18), ABIN held its annual fundraiser night. The fundraiser included live and silent auctions, food, drinks, a DJ, speeches and presentations from a wide variety of speakers at the Victoria International Marina.

One of the speakers was Parshu Dahal from Nepal, who had only been in Canada for less than a week. Dahal and Tournour have been friends for over a decade. Dahal got involved with ABIN when he noticed Eastern Nepal did not have any kind of non-profit Western Nepal did.

“We were working especially in the four components, like social mobilization, the economic promotion, then rural infrastructure like small infrastructure and the drinking water drill maintenance small waters supply project,” said Dahal.

After having built four schools, plus one on the way, in Nepal, ABIN has turned its focus to constructing the safe house. According to ABIN, it’s estimated that 85 per cent of all Nepalese women experience violence and, in 2018, 2,230 rape cases and 786 attempted rapes were recorded.

The rate is also rapidly increasing. In 2014, the police registered 981 cases of attempted rape.

ABIN is connecting with Changing Lives Nepal (CLN), an American not-for-profit to meet their fundraiser goals.

“There are 12 (people) actually coming from the states because this is our first co-venture because CLN will be running the safe house after we construct it, but our goal is to achieve or get close to completely funding the project,” said Tournour.

The project will cost around $220,000 and the structure of the safe house is an estimated 604 square metres including the outside upper-level covered deck areas. Currently, ABIN is more than halfway to its goal, sitting at $105,000 after the fundraiser.

For more information on ABIN go to anotherbrickinnepal.com