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Personal description: Yag Bahadur Aryal

Yag Bahadur Aryal

  • Age: 39
  • Principal Urleni Lower Primary School
  • Sindhulpachowk, Urleni

Mr. Aryal served six years in the military before he returned to his home village and took up the job of the principal. He lives on the hillside of the mountain on which the school is situated. Every day he has to travel for one and a half hours to his working place. Together with his three colleagues he not only teaches the students but also gives them lunch. He very open-hearted welcomed us and showed us the whole area while he was very enthusiastically talking about his school.

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Urleni Lower Primary School in Sindhulpachowk

Urleni1

After a shaky busride for half an hour followed by a two hours walk uphill we were warmly welcomed by happy children smiles and a joyful „Namaste“. We had reached our aim on the peak of a hill at the southern edge of the Himalaya. The village Urleni is located on a very remote spot without any access roads what makes it really hard to reach the village by vehicles at all. The Urleni Primary School teaches 52 children from class one to three.

Due to the earthquake one of the two former buildings was completely destroyed. The building left is also about to collapse during another quake. The sanitary installations are makeshiftly arranged. To replace the old building and provide three classrooms, a temporary hut made of corrugated iron sheets and wood was built.

The school is in need of four to six classrooms as the headteacher would like to give more children from the neighbourhood the opportunity to go to school. Because of the remote location of the village the school didn‘t get any support from the governemt or aid organisations so far. The temporary classrooms were built by locals with construction material from the collapsed building.

New buildings are essential to reopen an everyday school life. Complicated by the remote location it is necessary to use building materials from the close proximity. The local rubble can be used as masonry and wood from the nearby forrest for roof constructions. Any further materials have to be carried up the hill by foot.

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Personal description: Badri Prasad Dhunganal

Badri Prasad Dhunganal

  • Age: 35
  • Principal Shree Chandeshwori Primary School
  • Sindhupalchowk, Fataksilais

When we visited the the school Mr. Dhunganal kindly welcomed us and personally showed us the rooms. He was very pleasant and talked a lot about the old school building and the destruction of the earthquake. Together with three other teachers he teaches 75 students from class one to five and one preschool class.

 

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Shree Chandeshwori Primary School

Sinhulpachowk1

On the same day we took another bus and walked for 30 minutes uphill to reach the next school in Sindhulpachowk district. The school is located on a small plateau at the end of the village. Round about 75 pupils visit the school. They are separated into five classes and two preschool classes. At the moment there is an arrangement of five temporary classrooms to hold classes.

Arriving at the site we stood in front of a green hut made of bamboo accompanied with two small nissen huts. On the opposite side a rubble mountain was grown as tall as a man: everything that is left from the former school building. The children have to climb this mountain every time they want to visit the facilities. Some meters down the hill and quite hard to reach we spotted another building still under construction. But unfortunately only the steel construction of a corrugated iron roof was completed, because there wasn´t enough money. The area has a very sandy soil that results in a risk of landslides in case of heavy rain or further earthquakes. Because the epicentres of last years big earthquakes were located in Sindhulpachowk it happens that there are still perceptible aftershocks in that area.

At the moment an everyday school life is only partially possible. It is really necessary to replace the temporary huts with new buildings. There are six new classrooms, a library and a computer lab in need.

Sindhulpachowk2

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Shree Nabin Gram Shiksha Mandir Secondary School

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Because of the „Shivaratri“-holiday in honor of the Hindu God Lord Shiva last Monday and the international world women’s day the day after, schools were closed. We used the free days to travel around and to explore the country. Taking public busses we went to the Annapurna region where we could see the Himalaya and climbed some summits.

Back in Sankhu we headed of to the next school in Nonglebhare, Shankharpur the next Monday. We were kindly welcomed by the principal and the teachers. Afterwords we altogether took a look at the school area where 264 students are taught in ten classes and one preschool class. That is why for teaching purposes 14 rooms are necessary, which at the moment are situated in five existing buildings. Only two of the five buildings survived the earthquake almost unscathed. These two buildings mostly host classrooms, staffrooms for the teachers and the principal as well as rooms for the preschool class. Regarding the other buildings one is imminent of sliding down the hill and on the other one the walls are provisionally repaired with corrugated iron sheets. Latter one can only be partially used because the children are too afraid of more earthquakes.

With financial support the school was able to build a sixth building, which for the time being is not finished. Later it should be used as an IT-room. Unfortunately the building will not be earthquakeproof. In addition to the reparation of the existing buildings the school will need six classrooms.

On first sight the school may seem intact but on closer inspection lots of deficiencies appear that need more than just a repair. Help is urgent on both of the buildings struck by the earthquake. The destruction makes a rebuild indispensable. At the moment the other buildings that are still in use look safe but do not correlate with the requirements of earthquake-proof buildings and should be replaced with new buildings. Only the oldest building seems so massive that it could withstand coming earthquakes.

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Personal description: Amrit Lama

Amrit

  • Agriculture
  • Age: 28
  • Kintang, Nuwakot

Besides Mukesh Amrit was our local contact person in Kintang for the time of our stay. He showed us the near environment and talked a lot about the village, especially about the time during and after the earthquake. He was very honest and interested and he also allowed personal insight. One evening he very movingly reported how he witnessed the earthquake in his own home and later showed us what was left of the house.

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Personal description: Karma Lama

Karma

  • student C
  • Age: 17
  • study: 11 class
  • Nuwakot, Kintang

Through Mukesh we met Karma in Kathmandu. We altogether travelled to his home village Kintang and lived with his family for the time of our stay. Karma accompanied us from time to time.

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Personal description: Mukesh Khatiwada

Mukesh

  • Health assistant (male nurse)
  • Age: 22
  • Sankhu, near Kathmandu
  • NGO: Ghardailo Nepal

Mukesh was our first contact in Nepal and he accompanied us the whole time. Almost one year ago he founded his own NGO with which he visits and supports schools in the whole country. He speaks to the students about hygiene, health and family planning. With his help we were able to contact and talk to villagers. His local knowledge made traveling through the country much easier for us.

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Secondary School Kintang

SchuleKintang

During our first week in Nepal we travelled from Sankhu to Kathmandu to stay there for one night before taking an overcrowded bus for 8 ours to reach our destination Kintang in Nuwakot the next day. The journey was bumpy, filled with heat and really dusty at the end. But arriving in Kintang we were hearthly welcomed by a local family who hosted us the next three days. The father of the family is the head of the village‘s monestry and one of his sons works as a teacher in the local school. Like other families in the neighborhood our host family also lost their home due to the earthquake. They were able to built a temporary home with help of charitable organizations but mostly their own hard work. One year after the earthquake one son still works on building the necessary living spaces made of wood and corrugated iron sheets.
The school was mostly destroyed, too. One building that was just finished before the earthquake is unusable now. The other classrooms are only left in their roughly bearing structures. Tarpaulins and tin sheds where arranged as walls but hardly work as windbreakers not to speak of shelter in winter season or against the heat in summer.

With a small ceremony we were welcomed from pupils and teachers. Introductory we talked about the current condition of the school and the urgent necessity of changes with the teachers facing the many needs. During an inspection of the schools area we examined the structural condition and brainstormed first ideas about building materials and constructions.

Afterwards we listened to Mukesh‘s lesson about family planning to which the children reacted really responsive. In addition we introduced us and our project to the kids.

In the evenings the family prepared dinner for us and after the delicious meal everyone sat around the fire place chatting and laughing. Amrit, one of the sons, lived a couple of years in Kuwait and therefore was quite good in the English language. He told us a lot about the earthquake, how the people suffered from it and the months after. We got vivid impressions and were deeply grieved by all the harm. The next morning it was time to say farewell and start our adventurous way back.

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