Back to School in Nepal!
Organized by: Abhinav Khanal
Abhinav Khanal via Crowdrise
June 09, 2015
After returning to Nepal, I have started working with Diyalo Foundation, which has started the process of distributing rehabilitation support for fallen schools in Sankhuwasabha District of Nepal.
After the earthquakes of April 25 and May 12 the education of children in Nepal have been severely hampered. For a month, all schools in the 7 severely hit districts were unable to open due to partial or complete damage. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Nearly 36,107 classrooms have been destroyed or damaged beyond use impacting 1 million children”. In addition, 16,883 classroom have been partially damaged which makes such spaces unsafe for educational.
Diyalo Foundation has been working to provide relief on the ground since day one to support local communities. Initially, the focus was to provide shelter in the form of tarpaulin distribution and manual help to reconstruct fallen homes. However, as other international organizations focus on the seven worst hit districts, Diyalo Foundation recognized that some other districts which have also been impacted, especially in relation to education, are completely ignored. We identified the district of Sankhuwasabha where Diyalo Foundation has worked on other initiatives, and upon discussion with the local District Education Officer, realized that there are 30 schools which have been severely damaged due to the earthquake, keeping 5000 students in the district out of school. Although the Government of Nepal announced last week to be the date to re-start schools, many of these schools were operating their daily classes under tarpaulins or without a roof. As monsoon season arrives in Nepal, the current environment is unsafe and not conducive to learning.
Therefore, we used our resources worth $1400 to provide these schools with bundles of galvanized tin sheets which were used to create Temporary Learning Centers (TLCs) in these schools. In the first phase of our efforts, we distributed these sheets to four schools: Bhagwati Secondary School (Mul Gaun), Singadevi Primary School (Fungling), Hinganga Lower Secondary (Tapave) and Man Shanti Primary School (Poklawang). Till date, we have ensured that approximately 600 students have been able to go back to a safe schooling environment. We have identified six more schools which are extremely damaged, and over the next week, we will further distribute more construction materials to these schools so they can get back to operation ensuring that further 900 students can be sent back to school. In order for these communities to participate, we ensured that these temporary learning centers were constructed with the help of locals. Once we are able to ensure that all 30 schools are back in operation, Diyalo Foundation will also lead a back to school campaign with psycho-social training for teachers and activities for students who have suffered through post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, we will provide the administration of these schools with basic first aid training, and earthquake response training to ensure that any future occurrence can be dealt with in an organized fashion.
As the nation moves from relief to rehabilitation, Diyalo Foundation is working hard to ensure that we provide support where it is needed. Based on preliminary reports, there are a few areas which have been over-crowded by support, whereas others have been left un-attended. Most places that have been ignored are rural areas which are not easily accessible by vehicle. We, at Diyalo Foundation, are reaching such areas to ensure that these communities are not ignored and the development needs of children are fully supported.