NEPAL: Salesian Missionaries Rebuilding 12 School in Isolated Villages in 2016
(MissionNewsire) Salesian missionaries are working to rebuild schools in Nepal after the two earthquakes in 2015 caused massive destruction in the country. A devastating 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, followed by a second earthquake that struck on May 12. More than 8,000 died and close to 20,000 were injured as a result of the earthquakes and their aftermath. Forty of Nepal’s 75 districts were 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 were in need of shelter and other assistance.
The United Nations has reported that more than 1,300 schools were destroyed during the earthquakes. Salesian missionaries with the Don Bosco Network have entered into an agreement with the government of Nepal for the reconstruction of 12 public schools in areas most affected by the earthquake including Ramechap, Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk and Lalitpur.
Missionaries visited the sites and conducted surveys of the conditions of the buildings and have started preparations for the procurement of materials and preparation of the equipment so that once the rainy season has passed, it is possible to start rebuilding these centers without delay. The goal is to allow youth in these more isolated areas to once again have access to education and class activities in suitable buildings that are free of hazards.
Immediately following the 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 remote villages and affected communities, especially those in the Kathmandu Valley where Salesian missionaries operate two programs. 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.
Salesian missionaries responded immediately providing food, clothing, medical aid and shelter for those in need. They also built 21 temporary learning centers in the months following the earthquake. Once the learning centers were completed, government officers and other non-government organizations acknowledged that the temporary learning centers built by the Salesian missionaries and students were of such high quality they could possibly serve as permanent school buildings.
Salesian missionaries are also assessing and addressing long-term training needs of the local residents, who have lost their livelihoods as a result of the earthquakes. Part of the Salesian plan for the reconstruction of the 12 schools is to utilize Salesian students and recent graduates of Don Bosco Thecho to help with rebuilding efforts, allowing them to hone their skills and have hands-on experience while giving back to their communities.
“Salesian missionaries living and working in Nepal are starting their long-term reconstruction efforts, helping communities to rebuild homes and schools,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions. “One of the primary training efforts underway is helping to further the reconstruction efforts and put those in the community who have lost their livelihoods back to work. Salesian missionaries are using the technical school at Thecho to train young men and women in the building and construction skills needed to assist in reconstruction.”
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