Rebuilding lives, homes and schools in Nepal
Since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April 2015, the Nepal Jesuit Social Institute (NJSI) has been actively involved in relief and rehabilitation work. Supported by Jesuit Missions around the world, including our own in Britain, it is now concentrating its efforts on supporting the building and rebuilding of schools, hostels, houses and women’s shelters in several districts in the country.
Landslides have hampered the construction of the Shree Haleshwar Higher Secondary School in Dolkha. Nevertheless, it is expected to be completed soon, as are the semi-permanent structures for the Ban Sangu School situated below the Jure landslide. The school lost nearly 40 children in a landslide that hit the village two years ago and was further damaged by last year’s earthquake. The construction of five other schools – in Manka, Bageshwari, Bidur Metropolitan, Tupche, and Pagretar – is also progressing well, NJSI reports.
The hostels for special children in Nuwakot are also being rebuilt. They were destroyed in the earthquake and many of these children stopped going to school as a result. When they are completed, 62 students will be able to return to school. Another hostel for special children is being constructed in Sangachowk.
Reaching the Unreached
Last month, NJSI handed over a semi-permanent building, which includes a large classroom for Early Childhood Development (ECD), to Panchakanya Primary School located in Sindhupalchowk. NJSI has been supplying ECD kits, which aim to help children cope with traumatic or stressful situations such as an earthquake. It has also been distributing uniforms, school bags, shoes, socks, carpets and furniture for the students and teachers. Many pupils left the school after the earthquake destroyed it because there were no proper classrooms or facilities. Now that they have a new building, the school hopes to attract them back.
In addition to schools and hostels, housing construction is set to start shortly in Mahankal, with new houses for 73 families living in Gylthum village. While in Kavrepalanchok, a multi-purpose hall for women is being planned; and a safe space hall for women is being constructed in Rakathum village, Ramechhap.
Immediately after the April 2015 earthquake that killed an estimated 9,000 people, Jesuit Missions launched an emergency appeal to assist the work of the Jesuits in Nepal. The Nepal Jesuit Society responded to the emergency by establishing the Nepal Jesuit Social Institute. Since then, it has been hard at work, operating under the vision of “Reaching the Unreached.” It has focused its immediate efforts on education, initially clearing debris from schools so the process of rebuilding them could begin, thereby allowing children to resume their education as quickly as possible. To help Jesuit Missions continue its life changing work in Nepal and with other marginalised communities around the world, please visit Jesuit Missions.