Steve Trevella is a man from Christchurch, New Zealand. He used to own a business making kit-set play houses and sheds for families in his homeland, but after an earthquake struck the town of Sankhu, Nepal leaving thousands without shelter, he found a better way to utilize his skills.
According to the New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz, Trevella arrived in July with a couple other volunteers to aid in the relief effort from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated the town in April. In total, over 9,000 people were killed and 23,000 injured.
“It just looked like a war zone. It looked like people had dropped bombs in the middle of it,” Trevella said. “At that time, I thought I would just finance them and worry about that later.”
Instead, he found himself on a mission to construct 10 makeshift shelters in 20 days with the experience he had from making small sheds for so many years. Volunteers from the community aided in his efforts to collect any metal, steel, and various other materials to create the shelters.
Meanwhile, his wife was back in New Zealand collecting donations to support the effort. Each shed cost about $500 to make.
Trevella plans to continue supporting plans and raising funds for more building projects and was somewhat surprised by the accomplishments they made in such a short time armed only with, “enthusiasm and an idea.” He plans to return in November to help build more small sheds first-hand.
“They’re doing the best they can but with the infrastructure they’ve got, it’s going to be years and years before they rebuild,” Trevella said.