In April 2015, Nepal experienced a devastating earthquake. As much as the earthquake was a tragedy, it was also an opportunity for us to promote new approaches to teaching that value emotional well being of students. In just over a month, we trained 277 trainers who went on to train 6,412 teachers in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavre, Nuwakot and Dhading. Our efforts that started with just three teachers ultimately reached 200,600 students.
I can never forget the horrifying experience of 7.8Mw or 8.1Ms on Richter scale earthquake on 25 April, 2015. Luckily there was no casualty of life among my family and friends but there was a huge loss of property. Just 22 km away from Kathmandu, Chhatre Deurali, a village in Dhading where i was born, 95% of the mud houses was turned into rubbles. People there got some supplies and were expecting more. Like in other places people made their own shelter with whatever resources they had. Seeing people living under tarps and corrugated metal sheets, i felt like doing something in the village. Read more
Since the first big earthquake struck on April 25th, our lives have been unpredictable and fluid. In the initial days some from our team were responding to crisis at home and those of us lucky enough that our homes and families did not need immediate care began to act. First we provided basic relief to a few villages that we were connected with. By the 5th day, our attention began to switch from immediate relief to longer term needs such as shock/trauma interventions, re-opening of schools and educating kids in the camps.
Over the last two weeks our team worked with over 170 kids at 3 different camps in the Kathmandu Valley. As the camps began to dwindle a few days ago (only to fill up again after the big aftershock on 12th May) we shut down our camp programs and put more energy into our back to school program. Working with other educators and psychologists we created “First-Day-Back,” a 1 – 3 day package of lesson plans that teachers can use to help their students readjust to being back at school.