20 Apr In Nepal a year later with ASIA and four new schools
The date 25 April 2015 marks the start of what has perhaps been one of the most difficult years in the history of Nepal. After the catastrophic result of the earthquake, which left 9,000 casualties, 23,000 injured, 600,000 buildings destroyed and 300,000 partially damaged, the country had to face another challenge. From September 2015 to mid-February 2016, there was a border traffic blockage (virtually an undeclared embargo) by India. There were shortages of petrol and gas, the growth of the black market and a rise in the prices of essential goods. Today the situation is still difficult; prices have stayed high, petrol is still rationed and it is hard to find gas tanks for cooking and heating.
ASIA has been in Nepal since 1996 and is now there to rebuild the future of this country starting from the children and the schools. Our presence in the field enabled our NGO to intervene immediately after the earthquake, working in and outside the capital. Tents, blankets, mattresses, aluminium panels for building shelters, solar panel kits and other essential items were distributed, reaching over 26,000 people. In the villages of Yarsa and Saramthali, 58 temporary classrooms have been built, enabling 2,345 children to resume their studies at school.
Now, the aim is to rebuild the schools destroyed by the earthquake starting from the villages where the temporary classrooms were installed. A mission was sent in February with an expert in Bioclimatic Architecture, together with the local ASIA team, to ascertain together with the local community all the needs and the technical aspects involved to start up the works. Local builders, carpenters, blacksmiths and craftsmen will be able to participate actively in the reconstruction, thus giving a new stimulus to the local economy.
The first four schools, that will be built thanks to the funds made available by Caritas Italiana, Clown One Italia Onlus, Tavola Valdese and the ASIA private donors, are those of Arukharkha and Thangdor (Village of Yarsa, Rasuwa District), Namuna and Dupcheshwori(Village of Saramthali, Rasuwa District). The primary school of Arukharkha will host 122 children and 6 teachers. In 2016, ASIA will rebuild this school with anti-seismic and environmentally compatible techniques, without architectural barriers, and with the installation of toilets, bathrooms and drinking water. The energy efficiency of the structure will be ensured by the use of insulating material and solar panels. The primary school of Thangdor on the other hand, will host 102 children and 5 teachers. The aim is to rebuild a school with seven rooms, one permanent toilet, a room for the teachers. This school, too, will be built in harmony with Nepalese architecture, using modern anti-seismic, environmentally compatible techniques. Namuna Primary School will host 39 children, aged 5 to 8, and 4 teachers (it will be a point of reference also for the children from nearby villages). This school will measure 125 square meters, it will be equipped with toilets and it will be built according antiseismic techniques, yet in line with the Nepalese architecture. Dupcheshwori Secondary School will host 328 students and 9 teachers. It will have 14 classrooms and toilets, all built with anti-seismic techniques and in harmony with the Nepalese architectural style.
The ASIA project is not limited to reconstruction, but will turn the schools into Centres for the families: education on children’s rights and the risks of trafficking in minors, advanced teaching methods, recycling techniques, activities for organic farming and permaculture will be some of the activities undertaken. The indirect beneficiaries of these two schools’ reconstruction will then be the members of the entire community of Yarsa and Saramthali, composed of nearly 10,000 people.
ASIA is continuing to collect funds to: guarantee the sustainability of these four schools, conducting education for the students, the community and the teachers, and to rebuild other schools in remote areas of Nepal.
You can join the “Namaskar for Nepal: Do something for the Schools”