After three long flights and 36 hours, I am home from my latest trip to Nepal. This was my first trip since returning home last April, shell-shocked after experiencing the earthquake that rocked the country and caused so much death and destruction.
I was hoping to see reconstruction, new homes and repaired streets. But, unfortunately, Nepal’s dysfunctional government has done little to help the kind, gentle people who live there. An ambitious plan to give families money to rebuild homes that were destroyed has stalled. As a result, families who lost their ancestral farmhouses throughout the country continue to live in small, cramped transitional shelters made of scavenged tin, plastic and bamboo. inflation In Nepal is currently at 9.7 percent, a result of the recent fuel and supply blockade that lasted for over four months. It is reported that the prices of essential items, such as food and beverages, have soared by 9.3 percent, and prices of non-food items have increased by 10 percent.
In villages throughout our project region, Okhaldhunga and in our newest region, Okharpauwa, many students are still attending school in temporary learning centers. These flimsy structures made of woven bamboo with insubstantial tin roofs provide little shelter from the rain, wind or cold. I visited one village where two classrooms were literally blown apart by a large storm that passed through the one evening. In another village, an angry bull plowed into the walls of a bamboo classroom making it unusable for teaching. Another early childhood classroom was flooded by a torrential rain storm. So far, the Nepali government has not provided any of these communities a commitment to repair the damaged classrooms or rebuild ones that are dangerous.
What is amazing is that the teachers and children continue to show up for school, even under these extremely difficult conditions. Our job is to help make their lives better by providing a safe and secure place for teachers to teach and for children to learn. PiSL is as committed, dedicated and passionate as ever to providing access to quality early childhood education to children in rural Nepal. By the end of this year, we intend to build six new earthquake resistant classrooms to replace ones that were lost in the earthquake. The failed government cannot make it happen, but you can help us make it possible.