Educate the Children

Educate the Children works with women and children in Nepal to improve health, welfare, and self-sufficiency by building skills that families can pass down to later generations. Focusing on the poorest of the poor by working strategically through women's groups, schools, and agriculture groups, Educate the Children develops a comprehensive community presence, gaining an extraordinary level of local participation and trust.
May 18, 2015

Rebuilding Schools in Nepal: May Update

Child reading book in ruined home
Child reading book in ruined home

Early last week, three of ETC's staff members were in the Dolakha District, going from village to village and assessing the situation (including the condition of the schools), to determine how ETC can most effectively help the quake victims. They had managed to catch a ride on a passing Jeep and were on their way to visit the next village on their itinerary when the second major earthquake struck on May 12th. One staff member reported as follows:

"Suddenly, we heard a huge hiss sound and saw vibration of trees along the sides of the road. We all became...horrified as the quake struck...and [we] jumped from the jeep to the road. We could not walk for around half an hour because of severe pain [in] our legs. After this we saw dust everywhere produced due to several landslides and damage of houses....There is no [longer] any house having roof and wall. "

The schools in rural Nepal have fared as badly as the homes. Unsurprisingly, the oldest and least structurally sound have been the most badly damaged, whereas the relatively new buildings and some that had been improved are not as badly damaged. Sadly, many of the schools I visited just three months ago were among the hardest hit. These were schools at which ETC had planned to make significant improvements over the next few years. 

All children need and deserve safe places to learn. Some of their schools will probably be beyond repair and will need, in effect, to be reconstructed from the ground up. Others may be easier to repair more quickly. In many cases, temporary school shelters will be needed to help children get back to as close to a normal life as possible.

In the aftermath of this second quake (which, according to many, was technically an aftershock - of magnitude 7.3!), ETC is committed to finding the best way to help Nepali children resume their interrupted educations. Your support of our work is very important and greatly appreciated.

Please visit our website to see the latest photo essay about the condition of several schools in Dolakha District. 

A ruined classroom
A ruined classroom

Links:

Apr 27, 2015

Earthquake update, April 2015

School damaged by a SMALL earthquake in January
School damaged by a SMALL earthquake in January

Today's report is about the terrible earthquake that struck Nepal on 24 April 2015. You all will have seen and heard about it on the news. The devastation is unfathomable at this early stage, and we will surely not know about the full extent of the damage until many weeks or months have passed.

As you know, ETC works with school personnel and village residents in rural Nepal to make necessary improvements to schools. In the aftermath of the quake, the need will be much greater than ever. We hope that you will consider making a special gift to our Better Schools in Rural Nepal project to help in the rebuilding and reopening of Dolakha's schools.

The photo included with this report is a still frame from a video clip that I shot in February. This school building had been damaged by a much smaller quake in January. We can only imagine how bad the damage from the 24 April quake will be.

Thank you, as always, for your support - both of our regular work (to which we remain fully committed!) and to the relief and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake of 24 April.

Feb 13, 2015

Winter 2015: Opportunity Knocks

A student at Deurali Primary School
A student at Deurali Primary School

Happy 2015! Welcome to your quarterly update on Educate the Children's work to improve schools in rural Nepal.

As you probably remember, ETC started working with a new set of schools beginning in mid-2014. These 31 schools range from primary (grades pre-K through 5) to higher secondary (up through 12th grade). Although their student body sizes and physical conditions vary, all of them have one thing in common: They all need ETC's help, so that they can be better places for children to learn and grow.

I have just returned from Nepal, where I visited 10 of these schools, talking to the staff and students in their classroom settings. Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Not one school has enough furniture or classroom materials. Some classrooms have none at all, other than a broken chalkboard and maybe an uncomfortable bench or two. (see photo below)
  • Some schools have too few toilets for the student body. One school had NO toilets. None. (see story and photo below)
  • Most of the classrooms need wall and floor plastering (they often have hard-packed dirt floors and unsealed walls), and many have structural repair needs such as leaky roofs. One building was damaged by an earthquake a month or so ago, and is now in need of repair.
  • There was no playground equipment other than some volleyball poles and nets, and a few balls etc.

These conditions would be unthinkable for my own child and undoubtedly for yours too, but the fact is that some 3,000 children in ETC's project area are living with them every day. But that does not need to be the case, and with your continued help, it will not be the case. ETC is already working hard to make important improvements:

  • We've made possible wall and/or floor plastering at several schools (this makes the rooms more weatherproof as well as adding a bit of structural support).
  • We've provided classroom materials and appropriately sized furnishings in numerous classrooms.
  • Perhaps most strikingly, we have nearly completed the construction of a three-stall sanitary toilet building at Jalpeswori Primary School. Until now, there has been NO toilet at all at this school, such that the students and staff had to go to the bathroom in a field or behind a tree, which of course is very unsanitary as well as not private. It is costing less than $1,000 in cash to build this new three-stall toilet building, plus community members' contributions of some supplies and the necessary labor. (see photo below)

All of this work takes place in conjunction with school personnel and community members, with whom we set the most important priorities for each school, and who provide some building materials and labor totaling 25% or more of the costs of any construction and/or repair work. This ensures that the communities we are serving feel a real sense of investment in the work being done. 

Of course, we wish we could make major improvements to every single classroom and playground at all 31 of these schools, right away. Unfortunately, that is not possible either financially or in terms of staff time. But over the coming months and years, as we continue to work with these schools, every single one of them will be significantly improved.

School administrators and teachers told me how glad they are to have ETC's support, and how it makes a real difference in the quality of education they are able to provide for their students. On their behalf, and on behalf of everyone at ETC, I thank you for your continued interest in and support of our work.

P.S. If you'd like to watch a short WENY-TV news feature about ETC's purpose and various aspects of our work, you can click on the link below.

ETC is building this toilet at Jalpeswori School
ETC is building this toilet at Jalpeswori School
A typical classroom
A typical classroom
Kindergarten students in an improved classroom
Kindergarten students in an improved classroom

Links:

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $16
    give
  • $40
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $300
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,000
    give
  • $16
    each month
    give
  • $40
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $300
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Educate the Children

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Educate the Children on GreatNonProfits.org.