Give the Gift of Education in Nepal

by International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Give the Gift of Education in Nepal
Phillip and Fran lay the foundations
Phillip and Fran lay the foundations

Despite the monsoonal downpours, spirits remain high in Nepal. Since our last update there has been huge progress made at the Shree Bal Shiksha school in Sindhupalchok.

None of this would be possible without both your generosity and selflessness. We hope reading this report brings you great joy - those hard earned dollars you donated have helped change the lives of earthquake affected children.

Thanks to some serious elbow grease there has been a total transformation at the school. Our five classrooms are just days away from completion.

The classrooms have now been completely separated by plywood walls, and the doors and windows have been installed. In addition, an accessibility ramp has been built outside the school to ensure disabled access, something that is decidedly lacking in Nepal.  

At present our dedicated volunteers are adding the final licks of paint to the outer and inner walls in preparation for the final handover to the staff.

Next week we are holding a Paint Party in which our volunteers will work alongside the teachers and the students. We held a similar event at a previous project and it went down a storm. Everyone loved getting involved, and we don’t expect this time to be any different.

With our construction work nearing completion, it’s important to remind ourselves why we do this work.

So, I want to talk about an incredible human being called Binod Nepal, someone that each and everyone one of you have helped.

Binod is a 36-year-old teacher at the school. During the earthquake his home, which he shares with his wife and son, was completely destroyed. A landslide triggered by the aftershocks also devastated his farmland. With all options exhausted he was forced to sell his cattle for just one sixth of the normal price and move his family to Kathmandu.

Binod stayed in Kathmandu for around seven months but felt compelled to return to his educational duties. His wife and son stayed behind due to fear of landslides.

As a man who cares deeply about his school, Binod is exhilarated that IDV is building five new classrooms. He had this to say:

“The Temporary Learning Centre’s are no longer fit for purpose. The dust is having an adverse affect on the student’s health.”

Once again, none of this would be possible without your incredible support! It is because of you that Binod is now looking to the future with hope.  Thanks so much.

As always if you ever have any questions about our work or how we use your donations please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. We would be delighted to hear from you.

For more updates about our work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter. You can also email Andy is you would like to be added to our direct mailing list.

Note that IDV is now also fundraising on GlobalGiving to increase its overall capacity to help disaster survivors.

"Just another brick in the wall"
"Just another brick in the wall"
The wooden framework is in place
The wooden framework is in place
Next some serious plying
Next some serious plying
Now for a lick of paint
Now for a lick of paint
Smiles all round!
Smiles all round!
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There's an exciting summer ahead for these kids
There's an exciting summer ahead for these kids

Thanks to your amazing generosity it’s shaping up to be one hot summer in Nepal.

In an update last month we explained how we were just starting work on five permanent classrooms at the Shree Bal Shiksha school in Sindhupalchok.

Since then work has progressed quickly. So, to keep you updated, we wanted to share a quick “photo report” from the school.

This progress is only possible thanks to you. Since April 25 you’ve given over £4,000, or around $6,000, to support this project via GlobalGiving’s 100% Nepal matching campaign.  That means we’ve actually raised over £8,000, or around $12,000!

We know you’ve already given so much, but next week there’s another great opportunity to help even more if you can. This June 15 donations to this project will be matched by an incredible 50%.

Matching will start at 2pm in the UK, or 9am Eastern US time, and donations up to $1,000 will be matched per donor while funds remain. In the UK matching will start at 2pm and up to £1,000 will be matched per donor.

What’s more, if you previously donated less than $1,000 then further donations, up to this total amount, are still eligible for the ongoing 100% Nepal matchfunding if made via GlobalGiving.org*.  So, that’s a possible 150% match in total.

So, please consider making a gift on June 15, and please also spread the word about this incredible opportunity.

As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.  Otherwise, we hope you enjoy the photos.

*Donations made on GlobalGiving.co.uk on June 15 are eligible for the 50% match, plus an additional 25% in GiftAid if made by UK Taxpayers.

Bricks are unloaded for the kids' new classrooms
Bricks are unloaded for the kids' new classrooms
The boys are feeling manly
The boys are feeling manly
A delivery of stone is also handled
A delivery of stone is also handled
Our team stand victorious over the stone :)
Our team stand victorious over the stone :)
The classroom walls go up, sunglasses walk off
The classroom walls go up, sunglasses walk off
The classrooms are really taking shape
The classrooms are really taking shape
Show IDV and Nepal some love on June 15
Show IDV and Nepal some love on June 15
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These kids will soon have permanent classrooms
These kids will soon have permanent classrooms

With your fantastic support we’re continuing to make great progress to Give the Gift of Education in Nepal.

However, the nature of working in such a challenging environment means that there have been both ups and downs over the past few months.

For example, in our last project report we discussed our plans to build three permanent classrooms at the Bhadrakali school in Sindhupalchok.  

These plans were originally delayed by a fuel crisis last year, which made buying and transporting construction materials prohibitively expensive. But in mid-February, once the fuel crisis ended, we were looking forward to resuming these plans as soon as possible.

Sadly, when we returned to the school we discovered that, despite our frequent assurances, the staff had grown weary of the delays and had pressed on with their own improvements. Lacking resources they’d only been able to build semi-permanent classrooms, but this was on the land allocated for our own work, meaning their structure would have to be demolished for us to proceed.

With so many other children still learning in temporary classrooms both we and the school were reluctant to take this step.  And so, with sadness on both sides, we decided that it was better for us to focus our efforts and resources elsewhere.

This was a frustrating result for everyone concerned but ultimately the right decision.  And happily it wasn’t too long before our plans to provide permanent classrooms in Sindhupalchok were back on track once again.

In the months after the earthquake we worked with numerous schools in Sindhupalchok, and so we already had a long list of those needing longer-term help. So, we immediately began to revisit these schools and assess the next highest priority candidate for support.

It didn’t take us long to realise that the Shree Bal Shiksha school, in Manka VDC, was the right choice to support next. Last year we provided water tanks and filters at this school so we already knew they’d been badly affected by the earthquakes.

And sure enough, when we arranged a follow up visit, we found that the school’s 600 kids were still learning in temporary structures, and in some cases even inside damaged buildings. The temporary classrooms are rapidly deteriorating and fast becoming unfit for purpose. The damaged buildings are unsafe and the kids are at real risk from injury, or worse.

So, it was clear that support was urgently needed, and we soon also realised that we could provide this support relatively easily.

This was because, prior to the earthquake, construction work had started on a new school building.  This had to be halted after the disaster but a concrete base, columns and steel roof were already completed when work stopped. A structural assessment revealed the existing structure was safe and so we immediately began drawing up plans to build exterior and interior walls, and to also install doors and windows.

This work will turn the structure into five new permanent classrooms and allow the kids to move out of their dangerous and unfit buildings into a safe, beautiful new one.

In the last two weeks our plans were officially approved by both the School Management Committee and the local District Education Office, meaning we were able to start actual construction without delay in this case.  And just last week our construction team travelled to Sindhupalchok to set up the remote campsite where they’ll be based for the next ten to twelve weeks while work continues.

So, it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster since February, but the hard work and persistence of our team in Nepal has ultimately paid off.  Of course, none of their efforts would be possible without your generous donations, so thanks so much for your previous support.

If you’d like to continue supporting our efforts, including our work at the Bal Shiksha school, then now’s also a great time to do so.  This is because GlobalGiving are currently matching donations to this project by 100%.  

As always if you ever have any questions about our work or how we use your donations please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Note that donations up to $1,000 are currently being matched via GlobalGiving.org, and up to £1,000 via GlobalGiving.co.uk.

For more updates about our work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter. You can also email Andy is you would like to be added to our direct mailing list.

 

Some of the kids are learning in unsafe buildings
Some of the kids are learning in unsafe buildings
So we're turning this building into new classrooms
So we're turning this building into new classrooms
The School Management Committee reviews our plans
The School Management Committee reviews our plans
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Bhadrakali school was devastated by the earthquake
Bhadrakali school was devastated by the earthquake

Thanks to your amazing generosity our work to Give the Gift of Education in Nepal is rapidly speeding up!

In a project report last September we introduced our plans to reconstruct three permanent classrooms at the Bhadrakali secondary school in Sindhupalchok. This school of 600 kids was devastated by the earthquakes last year and has been in urgent need of support ever since.

We’ve been very keen to help and, after the monsoon season, we were almost set to start work when Nepal was suddenly gripped by a fuel crisis.

Blockades on the Indian border cut off the supply of countless essential goods, including all types of fuel and gasoline. As a result the cost of both transporting and buying materials skyrocketed. In some cases costs were up to five times more expensive than normal!

Construction work in areas outside the capital - and often inside too - ground to a halt. Materials were either impossible to find or prohibitively expensive to buy and transport. Our local partners were also unable to travel and insisted that we delay plans until the crisis was resolved - after all they knew we could achieve a lot more later if we didn’t pay the elevated prices in the short term.

So, with great regret, we postponed our immediate plans in Sindhupalchok and focused on rebuilding classrooms nearer to Kathmandu.

Happily in the last week, 135 days after the crisis started, the borders began to reopen and petrol has now started to flow again. There’s been no official announcement of the blockade ending, so we’re remaining cautious. However, the signs are positive and we’re looking forward to resuming our plans to help the badly affected Bhadrakali school.

But there are a few more developments as well.

Our original plans were to use “earthbag” construction for Bhadrakali’s new classrooms. This was to further lower the cost of materials and transport. However, soil tests at the site have since shown that there isn't enough clay content for this technology to be used effectively - we'd have to pay for earth to be delivered, which kind of defeats the point!

So, our in-house volunteer architect and construction manager, Ruth, is now redesigning the classrooms to use more traditional stone and timber construction. If you’re interested you can view Ruth’s drawings here.

We're very keen to press ahead with this delayed project and, if all continues to go well, we expect work to be starting in the near future. Thanks so much for your patience and your amazing support. We’ll keep you posted on developments so please remember to keep checking back. And, if you’d like to donate again to help Bhadrakali’s 600 kids then your gift today will have an amazing impact!

As always if you ever have any questions about our work or how we use your donations please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

The school lost desks as well as classrooms
The school lost desks as well as classrooms
The kids play near rubble and damaged buildings
The kids play near rubble and damaged buildings
Temporary classrooms provide no warmth in winter
Temporary classrooms provide no warmth in winter
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Back in class at the Adarsha school, thanks to you
Back in class at the Adarsha school, thanks to you

Thanks to your amazing generosity IDV’s New Year has gotten off to a flying start in Nepal. And with February now well underway we wanted to send you some updates about our work to Give the Gift of Education in Nepal.

In our first December project report we introduced you to our work repairing four permanent classrooms at the Shree Bim Adarsha school in Bhaktapur. The school’s classrooms were damaged in the earthquakes and this meant that the kids were being forced to learn in a temporary classroom with little protection from the elements. This added further discomfort to kids already affected by the earthquakes and it also made it hard for them to learn effectively.

So, we were keen to help as quickly as we could and began work rebuilding and reinforcing collapsed walls and providing new doors and windows. With this work done we then threw a community painting party to give the classroom a beautiful, inviting new look.

Everyone involved worked really hard to make the project a success and we’re happy to now report that the kids moved out of their temporary classrooms and into beautiful new ones before the new year arrived. This success was only possible because of your fantastic support and we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this work possible.

And there’s even more good news from Nepal to report as well. Since October of last year Nepal has been locked in a fuel crisis due to a blockade on the Indian border. This made gasoline almost impossible to come by and both material and transport costs skyrocketed as a result.

This delayed our plans to help other needy schools in the district of Sindhupalchok, which was the worst affected in terms of the number of classrooms destroyed by the disasters. Happily over the last few days border crossings have begun to open again!  This means gas is beginning to flow and we can seriously look at resuming our plans.

We’re also starting work in other rural areas too. For example, over the next week or so we’ll be sending a team to the Deurali area of Gorkha district to build bathrooms and handwashing facilities in schools badly affected by the earthquakes.

With so much going on we’re planning to send more frequent, but shorter updates, about our plans and our progress. So stay tuned over the next few days for more news and updates.

Once again, thanks so much for all your amazing support.

As always if you ever have any questions about our work or how we use your donations please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

The Adarsha classrooms before our work
The Adarsha classrooms before our work
An Adarsha classroom after our work
An Adarsha classroom after our work
We were fortunate to be hosted at a thank you day
We were fortunate to be hosted at a thank you day
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Organization Information

International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

Location: Bristol, Somerset - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IDVMedia
Project Leader:
Andy Chaggar
Bristol, Somerset United Kingdom

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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