“Infrastructure is a pillar of education to ensure a safe learning environment. It protects the students from rain, wind, and sunlight.”
Mr. K. C. Bhojuram, the headmaster of the Kiranchowk Karkidanda school in the Dhading district of rural Nepal, knows the truth of his words.
On April 25, 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake damaged the school badly. One building completely collapsed and another was too damaged to be used. Had the earthquake not happened on a Saturday, many of the students would have lost their lives.
When the government inspectors came to see the damage, only three of the classrooms were cleared. The rest were declared unusable.
An hour and a half drive from the nearest asphalt road, the school is located in a poor community. The earthquake had devastated much of Nepal and it was unlikely that the government would be able to fix the school. Mr. Bhojuram knew that the chances of raising the money to rebuild the school on their own was non-existent.
Since the re-opening of the school, many of the students have been housed in temporary sheet metal classrooms.
In March 2017 ADRA Canada received an unexpected gift. The donation came from a teacher and she asked that the funds be used to help in the rebuilding happening in Nepal. It was just enough to construct four classrooms for the school in Karkidanda.
Building the classrooms was not without challenges. It was difficult to find skilled labourers in so remote an area and the price of cement doubled during the construction. The remoteness of the school made bringing in materials difficult. There were delays, but with the blessing of God, the school was completed on budget.
ADRA firmly believes in the principle of ‘building back better’. The new classrooms were constructed with techniques that make the building earthquake resilient.
Kripal is 15. She has been attending the Karkidanda school for the last ten years. In two years she hopes to graduate high school, go to college, and then finish a masters degree. Her classroom was located in the destroyed building. When the school re-opened she and her classmates were placed into a sheet metal and wooden pole temporary structure. Kripal was not able to fully concentrate on her studies as she could overhear the other classes and the wind would blow leaves into her face.
Sushant is 14. His favourite subjects are math, science and English. He likes math because he is fond of the calculations, science because he likes to learn about inventions, and also English because he enjoys learning another language. When he grows up he would like to be an engineer.
Kripal and Sushant are two of the students who are grateful for the new classrooms that will enable them to learn in safety.