BIJAY’S GREAT DREAM
“Bijay is only 4 years old and has not forgotten yet the moment when there was the earthquake that destroyed his home and left him and his family without anything. Soon after the disaster, the tent, as set up by WeWorld, became his home and many other people’s home, a safe shelter.
He was utterly frightened, he was no longer eating and did not want to sleep any more to avoid nightmares.
Now, Bijay has started smiling again. His new home is being built and, shortly, he will have his new school! Within short, Bijay will revert to his usual life.”
Marta – WeWorld’s operator in Nepal.
The situation in Nepal
Nepal remains among the 50 under-developed countries in the world. It is the 145th country out of 188, according to the Human Development Index and it is estimated that the 42% of its population is living under the national poverty threshold: 50 cents. a day.
In addition, Nepal is a very difficult territory. In fact, its 60% is uninhabitable and only its 17% can be cultivated. The 93% of the population lives on subsistence agriculture, and the war lasting over 10 years badly upset the Country, as regards economic and social issues. Production capacity of Nepal has seriously been hit, by public and private infrastructures having been destroyed. The result was that many families were compelled to abandon their community of origin.
The already dramatic situation got much worse because of the April 25, 2015 earthquake. Over 9,000 casualties due to this devastating quake were lost, and over 1 million people remained without shelter and are now living in temporary and precarious shelters during Winter and seasonal rains. Most children remained without schooling because their school building collapsed to the floor.
How we operate
After the earthquake, we had to review our development cooperation targets in Nepal. Villages, where we have been working since long, were severely hit and we had to immediately face the emergency, followed by the re-building.
Our present strategy is based upon our strong points, i.e. the knowledge of some areas mostly hit by the quake – Sindupalchock, Kavre, Kathmandu – and our experience with children and women. Our priority was to respond straight away to the population’s primary needs in the areas where we were already working, by distributing necessaries. At the same time, we focused on continuing our help to children.
In fact, during humanitarian crises, it is important to protect children in a place where they can feel safe, in so starting again a normal life style, that helps them to overcome the experienced traumas.
For this reason, we have built 60 TLC (temporary schools), 6 semi-permanent schools, 30 latrines. We have distributed 2 water pumps, 21 drinking water cisterns, 3,963 pvc flexible tubes, didactic material to 53 schools and 2 Child Development Centers. We have formed 206 teachers for post-trauma psychosocial support, and have organized support meetings with 46 severely hit communities.
During this reconstruction phase, a year after the quake, we have committed ourselves with our local partners and with the local communities to start a resumption of revival and hope, thru the whole community’s active participation. We are working to re-build 20 schools (infants’ and primary schools) with toilets, hygiene interventions and water, in order that children go back to adequate schools, and their mothers can go back to work, while knowing that their children are in a safe and protected place. 10 of these schools are in a mountain locality – Milche – that is reachable only on foot, after 2 to 3 hours’ walking.