Nepal

A beautiful school replaces one destroyed in the quake

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Divya* attends one of the most modern and well-equipped schools in Dolakha, Nepal. Five years ago, children in this region faced an uncertain future after the earthquake on 25 April leveled schools and homes across Dolakha.

“The new school building is beautiful," says Divya, 15, about the Shri Surkhe Seconday School, which sits on a plateau overlooking a valley. "We have nice desks and benches. On top of that, we don’t need to worry in any season.

“I was so scared that I would not be able to go back school and meet my friends," recalls Divya, a ninth grader. "Those were the dark days of my life."

SOS Children’s Villages Nepal, through the support of donors worldwide, came to the hard-hit region of Dolakha, which was near the epicenter of the earthquake. The SOS emergency response team provided immediate relief to the people and then worked to get the Shree Surkhe School - with about 300 students - up and running as quickly as possible.

A temporary learning center was built from the usable area of what remained of the old school building.

Students received educational kits and special classes to allow them to continue learning and get back to their schooling as quickly as possible. In all, some 4,300 educational kits were given to students in different locations, and 4,800 children were given warm clothes to fight the extreme cold winter of the region.

In April 2018, a new earthquake-resistant school building was inaugurated and handed over to the school district. Overall, nine schools were renovated and three were newly built benefiting some 3,100 students across Nepal.

Mr. Shrestha, the principal of the Shree Surkhe School, say he is happy to provide education in a well-equipped modern building. The new building has clean drinking water and bathrooms. With the support of SOS Nepal, the school also has a computer lab and musical instruments.

“While many community schools struggled to rebuild, we, students, parents, guardians and the community, feel lucky that we received support from SOS Children’s Villages Nepal. [The school] was handed over in time and has been up and running causing minimal loss to the students’ education,” says Mr. Shrestha.