Projects Abroad launches Disaster Relief project in Nepal
The Disaster Relief project in Nepal officially started this month on the 8th June. The project has got off to a strong start with determined staff and volunteers working hard to help rebuild damaged schools, brick by brick.
The two devastating earthquakes that hit Nepal in April and May have left the Nepalese people with deep physical and emotional scars. Whilst the nation has shown strength and resilience in the aftermath of the earthquakes, the infrastructure of the country has a long way to go.
A natural disaster of this nature presents three primary challenges: education, hygiene and shelter. The Projects Abroad Disaster Relief Project is therefore focussing on these key areas.
In the worst affected districts, 9 out of 10 schools have been destroyed, leaving thousands of children with nowhere safe, dry or permanent to learn. A gap in education can be hugely detrimental and can have a lasting impact on a community. Although local foundations have set up temporary schools, they still face a shortage of space and teachers. Through our work, we aim to assist local teachers and build new classrooms for our partner schools.
For the first phase of the project, the Disaster Relief team is focusing on Sunrise School, one of our longstanding teaching placements. The school suffered irreparable damage during the earthquakes, leaving teachers and pupils with no building to return to. Luckily, they have found new land nearby in Bhaisepati, Kathmandu, where they have set up a temporary school.
We will be building toilets and washing facilities for Sunrise School, as well as working on the main structure of the school building. The toilet and bathroom facilities have been designed by an architect to be earthquake resistant and will be built from a mixture of bricks, cement, prefabricated material and corrugated iron. The new school will have 16 classrooms, catering for up to 250 children aged 1-16 years old.
We have made a good start on the rebuilding of Sunrise School, with 20 volunteers managing to dig the foundations for the entire school in the first week of project work. We have since added cement to strengthen the base level of the foundation, and we will continue with brickwork until completion.
For the second phase of the Disaster Relief project, we will focus on hygiene issues. We have identified several initial priority sites that are in need of toilet and washing facilities, including additional schools as well as facilities for those living in temporary housing. In order to work most effectively, we will duplicate the same toilet and washing facilities used at Sunrise School to these other locations.
The third phase of the project will focus on shelter. Projects Abroad Nepal has partnered with the Nepal Youth Foundation to assist with the construction of 100 temporary homes for local families, who have no homes to return to. The Nepalese people have lost complete faith in the ground they walk on and the shelter that they rely upon.
With 46% of homes in Kathmandu deemed unliveable, many families are sleeping under makeshift tents in public spaces, and will be for the foreseeable future.
Read more about the Nepal Disaster Relief Project and find out how you can get involved.