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Helping children return to school in Nepal

When two massive earthquakes struck Nepal within the space of two weeks, more than 25,000 classrooms were destroyed. Another 10,000 were left in need of repair. This prevented children, already under stress, from getting back to a regular schedule, an important process for children to overcome their trauma in emergency situations.

While schools in Nepal officially reopened on 31 May, almost one million children were unable to resume their education. With the country now in monsoon season and aftershocks still being felt, it is too soon for the full reconstruction of schools to begin.

But children cannot wait years to return to school.

This is why ChildFund is supporting the construction of 60 temporary learning shelters in 32 schools, ensuring more than 5,800 children in Sindhupalchok and Ramechhap districts can return to their studies. Built with local materials, the centres are designed to provide a secure learning space that will last at least two years. ChildFund is also supporting the construction of 21 temporary sanitation facilities and repairing 13 clean water connections for the schools.

In addition, ChildFund has partnered with UNICEF to ensure teachers have the materials they need to provide enriching classes for their students, especially while they are still overcoming the trauma of the earthquakes. These resources include ‘School in the Box’ kits, early childhood development kits, recreational kits and book bags.

ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence said: “It is wonderful to hear from our team in Nepal that children in our emergency response areas have been able to return to their schooling. This has been an urgent priority for both ChildFund and the local communities. Even while waiting for the temporary learning shelters to be completed, classes were being conducted under tarpaulins or in Child-Centred Spaces. This shows just how keen both the kids and teachers were to resume their education and return to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible.”

 

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