NEPAL: Salesian Missionaries are Focusing on Rebuilding Homes and Classrooms after Earthquake
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries are planning their next steps in relief efforts for communities affected by the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 and the second earthquake that struck on May 12. More than 8,000 have died and close to 20,000 were injured as a result of the earthquakes and their aftermath. Forty of Nepal’s 75 districts have been affected, 16 of them severely, with homes, schools, buildings, cattle, fields ready for harvest and other property destroyed. More than 500,000 people were displaced and remain in need of shelter and other assistance.
Salesian missionaries responded immediately after the earthquake providing food, medicine and temporary shelter to more than 17,000 families. Many residents remained in temporary shelter after the earthquake and faced the country’s monsoon season. Missionaries responded again providing stronger polythene sheets, tarpaulins and CGI sheets to ensure safer shelter.
Immediately after the initial earthquake, Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, launched an emergency fund to assist Salesian missionaries in Nepal. The funding goes directly to support relief efforts on the ground in affected communities and remote villages.
“Salesian missionaries living and working in Nepal are now turning their attention to long-term efforts, starting by helping families to rebuild their homes and their communities,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions. “Their work will begin with the families of Salesian staff and students and will then branch out to other families in districts where there are Salesian programs.”
Salesian missionaries operate two programs in the Kathmandu Valley. Don Bosco Thecho is a technical school located in the Kathmandu suburb of Lubhu and Don Bosco Siddhipur, located in the Lalitpur district, offers both a primary and secondary school.
In order to help further the reconstruction efforts and put those in the community who have lost their livelihoods back to work, Salesian missionaries will be using the technical school at Thecho to train young men and women in the skills needed to assist in reconstruction. The United Nations has noted that more than 1,300 schools were destroyed during the earthquakes. With a goal of reconstructing at least 40 schools, Salesian missionaries will utilize the skills of the newly trained students to assist in the rebuilding of schools. Each village will be asked to form a school-reconstruction committee that will mobilize the villagers to contribute as much as possible in cash, labor and locally available materials.
In addition to rebuilding the physical structures, Salesian missionaries are seeking permission from District Education Officers to hold orientation programs for teachers to aid them in assisting students who have dealt with trauma related to the earthquakes. Missionaries will also work directly with students to connect them to therapy services and offer financial assistance to those who lack mid-day meals, textbooks, uniforms and other schools necessities.
“Salesian missionaries are continuing their work but funds are limited. The emergency appeal will help provide aid directly to those who need it most,” adds Fr. Hyde.
Salesian Missions is urging the public to donate to its Nepal Emergency Fund. Go to www.SalesianMissions.org/Nepal for more information and to give to the relief efforts.
Salesian Missions – Nepal Emergency Fund