Little mice help Nepali children heal from trauma.
More than four months have passed since the first major earthquake and its aftershocks hit Nepal. Today, Nepal is facing the destruction left by the earthquakes, and addressing a long period of physical and emotional recovery.
At Global Family Village-Nepal we have decided to concentrate primarily on helping to support the children who were traumatized by the disaster. In this regard we have translated and adapted a children's story/coloring book, Gita & Shyam, The Day the Earth Shook that tells the story of a small group of cute mice characters who are experiencing an earthquake and the aftershocks. (See samples enclosed of the English version and the Nepali version that we adapted.) The book helps children, young and even old (and parents and teachers) learn about the facts of an earthquake, the aftershocks, and how to cope with their post trauma experience. It is also being used as a guide for earthquake preparedness for children and their guardians country-wide! We have printed and distributed almost all of the second edition of 50,000 copies. (The first edition was a smaller test pilot run.) We have successfully reached most of the children who are staying in relief camps in the damaged districts in Nepal. We then distributed the books through many schools and organizations which work in the field of children's rights such as UNICEF and Umbrella Foundation. We are still hoping to reach many more children. Your support enabled us to help so many children, and for that we are deeply thankful and grateful.
The monsoon rains arriving so soon after the earthquakes had created landslides and left even more families without homes or safe schools. Your funding contributed to help build a temporary school for the early childhood program before the rains hit. The children are experiencing some relief from the fear and anxiety, and are well on their way towards leading a normal life again, thanks to your kind support.
Luckily for the children we have had a US volunteer at the Family House. Mary Brazer, who served for a couple of months last year and came back after the quake to be with her 'Nepali family' again. She helped out and took good care of 'our' children during that difficult time. Also from the US, Dr. Loren Weybright, who came last year to work with the teachers at Tri Ratna School in Bungamati, came back again, post-earthquake for about two months to help train the teachers working with the traumatized children in very primitive make-shift classrooms.
Last Sunday, Father's Day was celebrated in Nepal. But what if you do not have a father? Thanks to our Grandparents Program, our children have someone to celebrate with. Although, the children and their 'grandparents have an opportunity to meet every Saturday, they took this day as an opportunity to get together and celebrate as a family. A supportive, caring and loving family is so valuable and important, especially during difficult times.
Although there is so much more to be done, Nepal is slowly recovering. The monsoon is over and the sky is getting brighter. You can see "We will rise again!" on many t-shirts, walls, stickers and street signs. Through good times and bad we feel you walking with us along the way.
Namaste from Freema Davis (US Executive Director,) Alon David (Volunteer), and the Global Family Village Boards and Staff in the US and Nepal
BFH kids & their 'grandparents' on Fathers' Day.
Dr. Loren helps teachers & kids post-earthquake.
Children countrywide are benefitting from the bookAttachments: