Post-Earthquake Recovery Initiative

Around 9,000 people died in two earthquakes that hit Nepal on April 25 and May 12, injuring at least 20,000 people, destroying nearly half a billion houses and leaving thousands without shelter. CEmSoJ has planned to undertake various initiatives in order to support post-earthquake relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Nepal.

One major initiative is to provide support for rebuilding and equipping earthquake-affected community schools of rural areas and psychosocial healing of children and adults. According of official statistics, as many as 575 schools were completely destroyed in 36 districts due to the first quake.[1] UNICEF reports that altogether, 32,000 classrooms were destroyed and 15,352 classrooms were damaged. [2] Further, the quakes, as per the parents, had significant psychological and social effects on children, including great trauma, in the form of fear of being inside houses or by oneself and not wanting to go to school or follow routines. [3]

With schools reopened on May 31, almost 14,000 children whose schools were destroyed or heavily damaged had classes for the first time after five weeks in 137 temporary learning centers set up in 16 most affected districts. 1,142 teachers received training on psychosocial support to children and key lifesaving messages on disaster preparedness, health, hygiene and protection. However, 985,000 children couldn’t return to classes on the day in need of more such centers up to a total of around 4,700 while training is required for almost 20,000 teachers and facilitators and teaching, learning and recreational supplies for 1 million children.[4]

Many earthquake-affected community schools in far flung remote villages or even ignored pockets of more accessible areas have reported of receiving little to none governmental or non-governmental support for building temporary learning spaces or rebuilding school premises – let alone for psychosocial training for teachers/guardians and school materials for children.

[1] http://unicef.org.np/blogs/2015/05/31/nepal-earthquake-race-against-time-to-get-children-back-to-school-unicef

[2] http://www.myrepublica.com/society/item/20357-575-schools-in-36-districts-completely-damaged-by-quake.html

[3] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/31/schools-reopen-earthquake-devastated-nepal

[4] http://unicef.org.np/blogs/2015/05/31/nepal-earthquake-race-against-time-to-get-children-back-to-school-unicef