Wishing for many children to come to schoolA temporary schoolhouse, built with bamboo immediately after the earthquake, remained at the site of Himalchuli Primary School in Goganpani Village (photo below).
As the school building was constructed with much importance placed on speed, it was consequently poorly protected against rain and chilly in the winter. Therefore, a new schoolhouse was deemed to be necessary.
|The previous temporary schoolhouse of Himalchuli Primary School was made with bamboo |
(All photos including this are from Goganpani Village, Dhading District, December 5th, 2015.)
AAR built a temporary learning center using steel beams and bricks on the site of the previous schoolhouse, which had collapsed, as it had been constructed using just stones and mud. The center’s floor is now covered with concrete to withstand conditions even in the rainy season (photo below).
| The temporary learning center newly constructed by AAR Japan.|
As the floor is made of concrete, pupils’ feet do not become muddy on rainy days.
The handover ceremony was held on December 5th 2015, and was attended by special guest Ms. Morgan De Santo, Program Manager of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), AAR’s cooperation partner, which made a generous donation to the emergency assistance of earthquake survivors.
|At the handover ceremony. The second from the left is Ms. De Santo of IRC.|
Next to her is Takeshi IKEDA of AAR Japan Nepal Office
and Chiaki FURUKAWA of AAR Japan Tokyo Headquarters.
Ms. De Santo, together with Takeshi IKEDA, resident staff member at AAR Nepal Office, was given a blessing with “tilaka,” a mixture of rice grain, as a symbol of wealth, symbolized by a red powder being placed on the forehead.
|Ms. De Santo, being given the blessing from the principal with “tilaka” on the forehead.|
|Graduates of the school singing a song of thanks with a “Madal”, a Nepalese drum. |
The entire school extended to us their warmest welcome.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was then performed and the pupils rushed in to see the new classroom with an air of excitement.
|Pupil rushed into the classroom. On the left, at the back, is principal, Ms. Indira.|
The children from one of the poorest villages in Nepal, where indigenous people called “Chepang” live, come to the school. Many of them are obliged to do farm work or help with housework instead of attending school, and so the number of these children coming to the school total no more than 37 at present.
|When we arrived at the site for the ceremony, many pupils and their parents had already gathered together.|
“I am no longer living in fear of an earthquake. I want to continue studying at any rate.”In November, AAR started with the construction of 19 temporary learning centers in the northern part of Dhading District. It takes three hours by car from Kathmandu to the District capital of Dhadingbesi, and from there it requires a further bumpy ride of one and a half hours, on unpaved mountainous roads, to reach Tripureswor Village.
|The rocky and bumpy mountainous road to Tripureswor Village (December 6th, 2015).|
|The school building of Ankhu Primary School, damaged by the earthquake|
(Tripureswor Village, Dharding District, December 6th, 2015).
AAR, therefore, decided to construct two temporary learning centers on the site of Ankhu Primary School. These centers, once constructed, will be used by 222 high school students.
|The school building of Ankhu Primary School (left) and a temporary learning center |
under construction by AAR Japan (right).
Ms. Archna (age 15), who wants to become a nurse in the future, had her house destroyed by the earthquake. At the time of the quake she was at home and, although she managed to flee from the house uninjured, she felt terrified. Looking at the temporary learning center under construction, she said with smile, “This building seems to be safer for any future earthquake!”
| Asked what kind of school buildings she wants, Archna responded without hesitation, |
“earthquake-resistant buildings!” (December 8th, 2015)
|Destroyed houses are left unrepaired in the village (December 6, 2015).|
| Huts built of tin for temporary dwellings are often seen. |
Ms. Archna, whose house has collapsed, lives in a hut like this (December 8th, 2015).
When asked about the situation following the earthquake, Mr. Namarag (age 18), a student at Achane Higher Secondary School, replied, “All the village people suffered. It is difficult to explain exactly what happened at that time,” and then held his tongue. But when asked about future dreams, he said, “Before, I was in fear of an earthquake, but now, I am not afraid any more. Although I have not yet decided what to do with my life in the future, I wish to continue studying at any rate, and become capable of doing anything, so as to be able to respond properly to whatever happens.”
|Mr. Namarag, asserting “I am not afraid of earthquakes any more”. (December 8, 2015)|
While there remain signs of serious damage caused by the earthquake, it is hoped that the temporary learning centers constructed by AAR Japan will be of assistance to the children, who hold the destiny of the future in their hands.
English editing by Richard Whale