May 18, 2017
Kate Mountford
Village of Light

My name is Kate Mountford and I’m from Mullumbimby via Brisbane. In 2015, some friends and I started a charity called Village of Light with the aim of supporting communities in a post-disaster situation to reconstruct their buildings and lives using sustainable earth building techniques and permaculture food production strategies. We raised $28,000 for our first project, rebuilding a public primary school in Gorkha Nepal, which was the epicentre of the devastating 2015 double earthquake. We raised our funds by organising two music festivals in Brisbane, patronised by hundreds of supporters, and running two successful crowdfunding campaigns, as well as private donations. From August to December 2016, we lived in the tiny village of Bakrang in remote rural Nepal, where we worked with a team of 11 locals who we hired and trained, rebuilding the school. We used a very resilient and sustainable building technique, called Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks (CSEBs). We worked with engineers, architects, builders and permaculturists from across Nepal and the world. We aim to continue our work rebuilding houses in Bakrang in rural Nepal, where 95% of homes were destroyed by the earthquake. I would love to share with your Rotary Club this inspiring little tale, started by a group of friends from Brisbane, Currumbin and Northern New South Wales. It began with a dream and with a lot of support from our community.