for a purpose: How it all started
With one guy who was in the right place at the right time
During the earthquake of April 2015, Jooren (D’jo) Surmont, a young Belgian traveler, was exploring Nepal together with a close friend, Nick Verdruye. He found himself in the center of Kathmandu at the time of the disaster. After the first shock he realized that he wanted to help as much as he could. Together with Nick and a group of fellow travelers, he built temporary shelters for the people of the lowest cast. After a while he went back to Belgium to collect money so that he could return and help Nepal. There was work to do. A lot of work. With the support of friends and family he fund-raised money in all possible and original ways and he returned to Nepal, this time alone. He searched remote places to see where help was most needed. The first project he got off the ground was the Burkey project:an earth-bag school building, situated in Burke in the Ramechhap district. In exactly 100 days, with the help of 85 volunteers from all over the world, he built an earthquake resistant school and toilets between April and July 2016. The end of this project marked the start of our organization For A Purpose.
A group of men carry a person on a stretcher after a powerful earthquake caused serious damage in Kathmandu, Nepal, 25 April 2015. At least around 600 people* have been killed and hundreds of others injured in a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, according to the country’s Interior Ministry. People were being rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings. Temples have crumbled all over the city, and houses and walls have collapsed. EPA/NARENDRA SHRESTHA
*in total over 7500 people were killed