Why this project needed our help
A 7.8 magnitude tremor on 25 April 2015, followed by a 7.3 aftershock two weeks later, killed almost 9,000 people. More than 740,000 homes and 32,000 classrooms were damaged or destroyed throughout Nepal but nowhere was worse hit than the steep, crowded and poor mountainside dwellings close to the epicentre in the Sindhupalchok District and the villages between Jiri and Lukla.
Kinja village is situated on the Jiri-Everest Trekking trail and as well as being a hub for the surrounding villages, is used by trekkers for an overnight stay. The school is a medium sized one, with 130 students from the poorer backgrounds as the more affluent parents manage to send their children to bigger towns for schooling. The school was completely flattened and the few students that were able to continue with their education were using tents and temporary classrooms until the new school was completed.
How Juniper Trust helped
The Juniper Trust, in its search for 10 schools to rebuild, met with the villagers and school committee in October 2015 and agreed a plan for a new school. The school was finally completed in March 2016 and new uniforms and equipment were delivered for all the students in early April. The school cost £8,500 to rebuild using local labout from the village with an additional £2,750 to provide new uniforms, school bags and equipment for all 130 children.
A promised delivered but continues
Almost 3 years after the earthquake, daily life is returning to normal. A joint fundraising by the Juniper Trust and its partners has so far raised over $250,000 to help rebuild 14 schools in the most affected areas which were unlikely to receive any other help. The fundraising also provided for the delivery of new uniforms, winter coats, shoes, bags, books and pencils to almost 3,000 children. The difficulty of sourcing and delivering materials into a remote region, the complexity of permission, new earthquake regulations and the vagaries of the weather, was occasionally daunting but with the invaluable help of our local teams, the Juniper Trust was able to deliver quickly.
The reputation of Juniper Trust has spread to other villages and we already have several requests of help from other schools. Our latest three schools will be completed by November 2018 (see 2018 Siruwa, Saraswati & Namuna School Project) and our search continues for more schools that need our help.
Our thanks go to the individuals in the field who made all this possible, the voluntary help from our contacts in Nepal and, most of all, for the generous donations from everyone who donated to help make this happen.