On 25th April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude devastating earthquake struck Nepal. It was hailed as the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake. Nepal was not prepared to cope with a disaster of this scale. 14 of Nepal's 75 districts were struck the hardest in the earthquake causing extensive damage.
(Click image below for full map of Earthquake Affected Schools of Ilaka 12 VDCs, Sindhupalchowk)
To make matters worse, a major aftershock shook the country on May 12th. The total death toll from both the earthquakes for the entire nation has surpassed 8,900 with scores of others injured. Sindupalchok district suffered the highest human loss with the death toll there reaching 3,839. In Thangpalkot Village Development Committee (in Sindhupalchok) where COMMITTED has been assisting with school improvement activities since 2009, the death count was 45 which included 11 students and 2 teachers.
COMMITTED was one of the first outside agency to reach Thangpalkot on May 4 with the emergency relief material. The area had suffered severe devastation due to the earthquake. COMMITTED provided relief material in Thangpalkot, Baruwa and Phulpingkot VDC. The Relief Material included Tarpaulin sheets, Blankets, Food, Medical supplies, and Solar panel chargers. COMMITTED was successful in distributing relief material across 778 households covering Wards 1-9 in Thangpalkot V.D.C and also across Wards 3-9 in Baruwa V.D.C . Solar panel chargers to resolve the communication problem were provided at two VDCs, Thangpalkot and Phulpingkot. These solar panels will be handed over to the schools after the schools are rebuilt.
All four schools supported by COMMITTED - Shree Raithane Secondary, Shree Chilaune Secondary, Shree Taltuleshwori Lower Secondary, and Shree Satkanya Primary faced substantial devastation due to the disaster. Majority of the school structures and buildings were severely damaged. Sixty eight percent of class rooms (34 out of 50) and 24 percent of water and sanitation facilities were completely damaged.
All school operations were disrupted due to the earthquake and because the school structures including the class-rooms and other critical facilities were destroyed, the children and the teachers were hesitant to return to classrooms. Because creating a conducive environment for the children to return to the classrooms was very critical, Temporary Learning Centres (TLCs) were constructed for the four schools. The TLCs were established with bamboo frames and CGI sheets. They were set up with the help of COMMITTED's volunteers, local village community, school staff, the Nepal Army, and the Armed Police Force.
Recreational activities such as music, art, and sports can prove therapeutic in relieving the trauma faced by children and teachers during the post earthquake period. To ease their minds and to boost their morale, such recreational programs were conducted for the students at the TLCs. A week long mid-day meal program was also carried out to encourage children to return to classes.
We have now initiated our reconstruction efforts in Thangpalkot V.D.C. We are planning to start with the rebuilding of three schools - Shree Taltuleshwori Primary; Shree Raithane Secondary; and Shree Chilaune Secondary All reconstruction activities will be initiated after the District Education Office (DEO) permit process. Please click here to view the school designs envisioned and the MOU with the Department of Education for the rebuilding of schools in Thangpalkot VDC. Debris clean up and steep school land stabilization activities have also been completed.
Rebuilding the Local Government Structure
Without a strong local body all efforts towards the VDC's rebuilding will be difficult. COMMITTED will also be working to rebuild the absent VDC office so that the responsible officers are able to carry on with their tasks.
The Star Reader/Writer program will be an enhancement of the established program at the three schools-Taltuleswori Primary, Raithane Secondary, and Chilaune Secondary of Thangpalkot VDC. The program was established in 2012 and was in operation until the recent earthquake. Currently only one library is in a safe condition. While some of the books are salvageable, most have been destroyed. The program will purchase a total of 3000 additional books that will be provided at the two schools in temporary arrangements and one within the existing intact library. When the library rooms are rebuilt these books will be relocated.
With the assistance of a librarian and a coordinator, all students will be encouraged to take books home for reading. A star will be awarded for each book read and each child from all the grades of all three schools with the maximum number of stars achieved will be awarded prizes. The program will also be extended among the teachers - one teacher each from all three schools with the most number of books read will also be awarded annually. A log of all the books read by each participant will be maintained, for which a computer will also be stationed in the library.
In addition, for the Star Writer program COMMITTED will distribute copies of story books level-wise for all the students of each class from classes 5-10. Our team members at COMMITTED will give an orientation to the English teachers in the schools regarding the program and also distribute the book report templates and samples to them. They will also lead a session in each of the classes in the three schools after which the teachers will continue with the reading sessions as per the schedule set by them for the successful completion of the program.
At the end of their completion all the students will be required to write a book report under the guidance of the English teacher. The teachers will grade these reports after submission by the students and star awards will also be given out to the best book writers of all the grades. The sets of books will be rotated between the grades for the next cycle of Star Writer Program with an aim to receive at least two book reports from the students per year.
We have now started concentrating on the reconstruction of structures that assist in restoring services to the community (health posts, schools and libraries etc) and speeding up the service delivery of local bodies including education facilities. We request all willful donors to contribute funds to support our rebuilding process being carried out in mid-upper Sindupalchok region. You can help in the following ways:
Or with checks payable to Community Members Interested (COMMITTED).
Please mail to:
Community Members Interested (COMMITTED)
205 Yoakum Parkway, Unit 807
Alexandria, VA 22304 USA
Community Members Interested (COMMITTED)
400/41 Kamladi Road
GPO Box 2547
During the reconstruction period we will need a lot of help with volunteers. The extent of the work will be dependent on the funds received. Please check back with us to understand our needs and let us know if there is a match for yourself.
VOLUNTEERS SIGN UP