A 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks hit Nepal on 25 April 2015, killing more than 5000 people, injuring 6000and displacing nearly 4.4 Million people are displaced. The earthquake triggered avalanches that killed at least 18 people and injured 61 more at the base camp of Mount Everest.
Sujan Neupane, Program Officer at Aide et Action South Asia in Nepal says that people are in a state of confusion and are in dire need of help:“The situation is still dire in Nepal due to earthquake and still there are frequent tremors. For safety reasons we are passing days and nights at tents outside our houses.” There is a great psychological trauma among women and children. Many families require shelters, health and sanitation services, food and psychological assistance.
At the earliest stages of the emergency, AEAI geared efforts to supply stocks of relief items. Transportation is posing a major challenge due to worsened road conditions and mountain terrains. Our teams have moved to Lamjung (epicentre of the earthquake) and Gorkha districts-north west of Kathmandu, for detailed needs assessment with a group of mobile committed University students, who would be working as volunteers for needs assessment and simultaneous relief and rehabilitation work. AEAI has also provided some tents for shelter, food items and first-aid kits in 3 of the most affected villages of Lamjung district on 29 April 2015.
Education is of vital importance
AEA South Asia has been Quality education programme, called Back to Basics (B2B) for nearly 14, 292 primary school children in Saptari and Baglung, neighbouring Lamjung. It has also initiated the livelihood education programme known as iLEAD in 2010 in Baglung, Bhaktapur and Saptari districts.
Children need education especially in emergencies.Being in school can keep children safe and protected from risks, including gender-based violence. In addition, school can provide the stability, structure and routine that children need to cope with loss, fear, stress and violence. Regular schooling is one of the most important means of restoring a sense of normality and help children overcome the psychological impact of disasters.Our past experience suggests that normalcy of children de-stresses parents and has immediate positive impact on their psychological condition. Hence, starting with children provides psycho-social support to the larger community.
Emergencies often create additional urgent learning needs that must be incorporated into the learning activities, including messages about safety and protection, health, hygiene and sanitation, HIV/AIDS… Our programme will focus on getting schools or learning environments reopened, getting children back to school, and revitalizing the collapsing infrastructure of the educational system.
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