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On 25 April 2015, the ground shook in Nepal as it was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. It claimed the lives of 9,000 people, and 700,000 houses and more than 7,000 schools were destroyed. Caritas Switzerland was on the spot from the beginning and provided emergency relief.
In the autumn of 2015, with the support of Swiss Solidarity, the reconstruction of 31 schools began, which was initially hampered by aggravating external circumstances. A political conflict about the new constitution led to a blockade of the border between India and Nepal, resulting in supply shortages in Nepal. The reconstruction was held up for months. However, the situation improved in spring 2016. In the last twelve months, Caritas Switzerland has been able to hand over seven earthquake-proof and child-friendly schools to the communities.
Lukas Fiechter, the Programme Director for Nepal at Caritas Switzerland, went on a visit in April 2018 to see first-hand how the rebuilding activities were progressing, and participated in the opening ceremony and handover of Terse secondary school in the village of Talamarang. ‘Having the opportunity to be present at this handover is a unique experience. It is great to see how much the school community is taking care of the new buildings and is already implementing its own ideas for the use of the classrooms’.
The 31 schools originally planned will benefit more than 5,300 children. However, the need for reconstruction support in Sindhupalchok remains great. That is why Caritas Switzerland, together with the Swiss Red Cross and Helvetas, began with the construction of five additional schools in early 2018. It means that by the summer of 2019, a further 1,200 school children will benefit. We look forward to your support for the building of these schools.